IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. — As it turns out, dogs are helping catch criminals in Iredell County.
The Iredell County Sheriff's Office's K-9s recently sniffed out more than 100 pounds of illegal drugs during a traffic stop.
Whatever Sergeant Leo Hayes asks Connie to do, the K-9 is on it. Connie has a nose for the scent of trouble.
PHOTOS: K9 Connie w/ Iredell County Sheriff's Office
"When she smells the odor of illegal drugs, she freezes, her tail goes straight, she quits breathing-- I can’t tell a dog to do that, that’s her way of telling me like hey there is drugs in that car," Sergeant Leo Hayes said. "The dogs think that they’re searching for a toy that has the odor of the drugs that they’re trained to find."
On Tuesday, Feb. 14, deputies with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Interstate Criminal Enforcement (ICE) Team conducted a traffic stop on a 2021 Ford Expedition on Interstate 77 Southbound at the 61 Mile Marker for a traffic violation.
While speaking to the suspects about the traffic violation, the deputies based upon their training and experience detected signs of criminal activity taking place. Canine “Connie” was called to the scene to assist with the traffic stop. Canine “Connie” gave a positive alert to the presence of illegal narcotics inside the vehicle.
Deputies searched the vehicle and located 145 pounds of Marijuana in several individually vacuumed sealed bags in a case in the rear cargo area of the vehicle. The marijuana seized has an estimated value of 657,720.00 dollars.
“We can use her in a school in some tragic situation, we can also have her on the interstate looking for drugs, we can have her track a missing child or an Alzheimer’s patient or a fugitive," Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell said.
Just in the last month she's helped seize around 250 pounds of marijuana.
“They hire people to travel to take those drugs down our interstate and they happen to come through Iredell," Sheriff Campbell said.
But even as a drug-busting dog, Connie still has her moments. She's 50 pounds of heart and energy.
"Connie’s a very loving dog, so she loves to work but also loves attention," Sergeant Hayes said. "Part of the family lives with me everything."