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Weld County Sheriff’s Office releases mid-year K9 stats

Posted on 07/20/2020

The Weld County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit has been active so far in 2020, locating more people and seizing significantly more narcotics than it did by the middle of 2019.

As of June 30, the K9 Unit had been deployed 266 times, which is up from 261 deployments during the same time period in 2019. Of those, 60 calls were to track suspects or missing people. Fifty-three people have been located on those calls. By June 30, 2019, the K9 Unit had been deployed on 43 tracks, locating 42 people.

The most high-profile K9 save from this year took place Feb. 12 when Deputy Ben Rexroad and his K9, Ringo, along with deputies Sean Wagner, Elijah Howard, Thomas Lamb and Andrew Annan, located a young man who had become lost in a snow squall.

The K9 Unit also has made a dent in the local illegal narcotics trade, seizing 1,500 grams (3.3 pounds) of methamphetamine, 113 grams of cocaine, 216 grams of heroin and 413 pills, including 25 pills of fentanyl. The team also has seized $5,900. Of that, $1,900 was counterfeit.

Those narcotics seizures represent a significant increase compared to last year across all categories except one. As of June 30, 2019, the team had seized 86 grams of methamphetamine, 69 grams of heroin, zero pills and $1,000 in cash. It had also seized 491 grams of cocaine.

The Weld County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit is comprised of six deputy/K9 teams, including five on patrol and one in the jail. The patrol teams are Larry Neugebauer and K9 Viper, Ben Rexroad and K9 Ringo, Brian Fortin and K9 Loki, Grady Nicholson and K9 Rok, and Sean Jennieahn and K9 Kenzi. Jenneiahn and Kenzi are the newest members of the agency, joining the Weld County Sheriff’s Office in March from the Lafayette Police Department. Deputy Adam Dougherty and K9 Dexter are assigned to the jail.

However, Dougherty and Dexter received in May their certification to conduct vehicle searches for narcotics, which came in handy when that same month K9 Kenzi had to go off duty when a cut to her paw required stitches. Dougherty and his drug-sniffing yellow Lab helped maintain coverage on patrol while also maintaining their primary duties at the jail.

On June 3, Deputy Dougherty and K9 Dexter uncovered a unique stash of contraband in one of the pods of the Weld County Jail when they discovered Jolly Ranchers laced with cocaine. On June 5, Dougherty and Dexter assisted deputies with a patrol stop and located two syringes of morphine. The driver did not have a prescription.

Then on June 14, Dougherty and Dexter assisted Garden City police with a patrol stop, locating several baggies containing methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine, Xanax and Cyclobenzaprine pills, and a fentanyl patch, as well as numerous pieces of drug paraphernalia.

“The really great thing about this K9 team is that they all have the mindset of helping people,” said Sgt. Jon Patton. “They want to find bad guys and take them to jail. They want to find drugs and get them off the street because these are the very same streets where they live.”