For California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Sherman, and his partner Dickie, a seemingly routine traffic stop in the Glen Ellen area turned out to yield 50 pounds of marijuana, a bust that local media outlets report was the second largest of last week by the CHP. Sherman has intimated that it was simple intuition that caused him to pull the Nissan Altima over; he already suspected that they might be carrying illegal drugs of some kind. In the end, 40-year-old (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) was arrested on 2 separate charges, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and transportation of marijuana (CA Health and Safety Code 11357).
However, it was Dickie who truly made the arrest. He is a German shepherd mix police dog who is specifically used to find narcotics by law enforcement officers. While Sherman spoke to the 3 occupants of the vehicle, Dickie went around the back and did his job, which was of course to determine whether or not there was evidence that drugs were in the trunk. Dickie sniffed them out and that was that.
The driver’s charge of possession will most likely be considered a felony and he may face up to 3 years in prison because the amount of marijuana found in his car was large enough to attempt to prove distribution. Additionally, he could be looking at an additional 4 years in prison for transportation of the illegal narcotics. Furthermore, as K-9 teams are becoming more popular with law enforcement agencies, Californians in the Bay area should look forward to seeing more incidences like these and more dogs like Dickie.