DeKalb County Sheriff's Department Gets New Drug Dog

April 23, 2007
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb Sheriff's Department now has a Malinois K-9 narcotic detector dog to fight the illegal use and sale of drugs.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says \"The Sheriff's Department bought the dog with monies that were seized through drug investigations and no tax dollars were required for this purchase. We also took one of the county owned SUV's and installed a cage in the rear of the vehicle. This vehicle can transport the K-9 drug dog and can also transport one inmate safely. \"

The dog's name is Banshee. She is 2 years old. Banshee and her handler Deputy Mike Agee have undergone intense training through Thunderhawk Kennels in Jackson County.

Sheriff Ray says that Banshee has been welcomed to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department by one local business owner. \"Sandy Brown of S C B Enterprises and TN Barn Builders has kindly donated a dog kennel and free dog food from her business.\"

According to Sheriff Ray, Banshee has already stepped up to the plate by making two positive drug hits on vehicles this last week. \"On Thursday, deputies stopped a vehicle on Highway 56 North due to a traffic violation. The driver, 25 year old Joshua Johnson of Hendrixson Road Smithville was found to have a suspended driver's license. When Johnson was asked to step out of the vehicle, a cigarette tin containing 2 pills believed to be hydrocodone fell from his person. Deputy Agee and K-9 Banshee checked the vehicle and after a positive drug hit from Banshee, deputies found a set of scales with a white powdery residue believed to be cocaine and a straw containing a white powdery residue. Johnson was charged with driving on a suspended license, simple possession of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone), and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond was set at $3,000 and Johnson's court date is May 10th.\"

Also on Thursday, Sheriff Ray says \"24 year old Michael Duane Vanpelt, II of Monroe Henley Ridge Road Silver Point was stopped on Allen's Ferry Road for a traffic violation. Deputy Agee and K-9 Banshee checked the vehicle and after a positive drug hit from Banshee on the driver's side door, deputies found a bag of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in Vanpelt's possession. Vanphelt was arrested and charged with simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. A $2,000 bond was set and Vanpelt's court date is May 10th.

Sheriff Ray says \"I believe Banshee will be a valuable tool for our Department by helping to identify and help rid our streets of drug dealers. Our plans are to use any and all resources at our disposal, such as Banshee, for the betterment of our county.\"

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