Sheriff’s Department canine building up drug arrests

September 15th, 2020     Featured Government & Politics

The Union County Sheriff’s Department canine, Caesar, has already aided in several county and city drug arrests after only being on the job a few weeks.

Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said Caesar contributed to seizing nearly an ounce of methamphetamine late Sunday night.

“About midnight they made a traffic stop on County Road 88 at Hwy. 15,” Edwards said.

David Nichols Jr.

The vehicle was occupied by David Nichols Jr., 45, of Blue Springs. Nichols’ behavior led to having the canine check the vehicle and the sheriff said the dog did alert. That’s when officers found the methamphetamine, valued at about $2,500.

Nichols, who the sheriff said has a history of drug and alcohol charges, has been charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell or distribute, and with fourth offense driving under the influence, which is also a felony.

Depending on the final amount of drug, conviction for the meth can bring from three to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or more. A third offense DUI is a felony and for a fourth Nichols could be sentenced to two to 10 years.

Nichols’ bond had not been set late Monday.

“Our canine was called out on the city last week and alerted and got meth so he has several felony arrests already,” Edwards said. “I think he’s going to be a very valuable asset.”

The sheriff said while the price of methamphetamine went down for a while when availability was good, that has changed. “It got cheap but now it has gone back up,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s COVID or a lot of interdiction units across the U. S. making some pretty good licks. It may be part of the wall being finished.”

It’s also more difficult for the average person to acquire the components needed to manufacture meth on a small scale.

Caesar is a specially-trained Belgian Malanois purchased and trained at a cost of about $11,000, but paid for with seized drug funds and not any taxpayer expense. He routinely works with his handler, deputy Chris Whiteside.

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