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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news May 24, 2016

11/5/2013 2:13:00 PM
Sheriff's Interstate K9 drug transport busts
Deputies checked the trunk and located two duffle bags containing 42 one-pound packages of marijuana.
Deputies checked the trunk and located two duffle bags containing 42 one-pound packages of marijuana.

42 individual pounds

Around 7 a.m. last Wednesday, Yavapai Sheriff's K9 deputies stopped a 2013-Chevy Impala with Texas plates for several moving violations.

The driver was identified as Ahmed Haddouch, 31, and a passenger Tong Van Le, 39, both from Southern California. During a discussion about the traffic violations, both occupants appeared unusually nervous and confused about their travel plans.

Once the K9 officer suspected the pair might be transporting illegal drugs, he asked Haddouch for permission to check the vehicle. Haddouch declined at first. The deputy hen commanded his K9 for an exterior sniff around the Impala and the animal alerted inside the right rear wheel well area.

Based on the alert, deputies checked the trunk and located two duffle bags containing packaged marijuana in 42-one pound quantities along with meth pipe paraphernalia.

Haddouch and Le were arrested for charges including possession of marijuana for sales and transportation of marijuana for sales. Haddouch and Le each posted a $25,000 bond and have been released.

Spare marijuana

On Oct. 29, 56-year-old Ritchie Davis and 50-year-old James Hodge, both of Arkansas, were arrested for transporting marijuana on Interstate 40.

Sheriff's K9-deputies stopped a tan 1998-Lincoln Town Car for several moving violations on east Interstate-40 in Yavapai County. Davis was the driver and Hodge his passenger. While talking with them, the deputy smelled a powerful odor of marijuana in the vehicle.

The pair said they were heading east from Oregon but denied any knowledge of marijuana in the vehicle. Checking for the source of the odor, the deputies opened the trunk and found the marijuana smell had intensified.

Deputies found two spare tires, both flat and abnormally heavy. Further inspection revealed several packages of marijuana hidden inside the tires. The total weight was nearly 11 pounds.

Hodge admitted he was in the process of transporting the marijuana from Oregon to Arkansas for sales. $1600 dollars in cash was also seized. Both Hodge and Davis were booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center for possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana for sale. Davis has been released on a $10,000 bond and Hodge remains in-custody on the same bond amount.

Hashish and cash

A Sheriff's K9 deputy arrested 25-year-old Roy Gunnoe from Oklahoma, on Oct. 23, for possession of dangerous drugs, possession a narcotic drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony.

The deputy stopped Gunnoe on west Interstate-40 in Yavapai County, driving a 2011 silver Jeep, the vehicle had an expired registration and a moving violation.

Gunnoe, the only occupant, showed an Oklahoma driver's license and explained he was heading to Los Angeles. Gunnoe became nervous and deputy was suspicious he might be carrying contraband.

When Gunnoe refused a request to check his vehicle, the deputy released his drug-sniffing dog to sniff the exterior and the animal alerted on the driver's door area, where the deputy found a meth pipe in the center console and a 9mm handgun in a backpack.

In the backseat, the deputy located a quantity of hashish and 2 bundles of cash totaling around $1,500.

In the trunk was a suitcase containing another $10,000, bringing the total to $11,500. The deputy linked the cash to drug transactions which has been seized pending forfeiture proceedings.

Gunnoe was booked into the Camp Verde Detention and has since been released on a $5000 bond.

18 wheeler rolls on Interstate

BEAVER CREEK -- A tractor trailer rig went over on its side on Interstate 17, four miles north of the Sedona Interchange Friday evening. About 7:30 emergency fire crews from Montezuma-Rimrock and Sedona Fire units were dispatched to the accident in the southbound lanes. The tractor suffered heavy damage. Fortunately, the contents contained only magazines and books but no hazardous materials.  The driver, however, was pinned  inside the cab, and had to be extricated. The extraction using hydraulic tools took over 30-minutes, but the driver remained conscious throughout and suffered only minor injuries.  He was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center by MRFD ambulance and remained stable during transport. The cause of the accident is under investigation by the Arizona Department of Public Safety and  Department of Transportation.

Taylor Waste

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Article comment by: The driver refused a search so the canine did an air sniff search anyway?

I thought we had a Constitution that protected us from unreasonable search. It's called the 4th Amendment.

The Supreme Court has ruled that an air sniff dog search is legal as long as the dog "has been trained or certified." But there has to be some accountability as less than half the time the dog actually finds drugs.

Now YCSO has gotten puppies that the officers will train the pups themselves rather than having a professional dog trainer be used. This is a set up for being allowed to search any car the police want to. If a dog has an accuracy rate of less than 95%, (right now the accuracy of a K9 is 48%) then the K9 and handler need to go back for more more retraining and be culled by the Police dept. If certain accuracy standards are not achieved by the dog, then that dog needs to be culled. This stomping on our civil rights has got to stop.

We need to take back the USA from the government that is there to protect us.

Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Article comment by: Jimmy James

Wrong Gary Dean,

I was driving back from Las Vegas with my brother about 2 yrs ago and was pulled over by a Deputy Sheriff for the dubious reason of not signaling a lane change quickly enough.

We were driving my mother's car and this raised the Deputy's suspicion. After refusing to allow a search of the vehicle, we were searched and forced to stand on the side of the road and wait for the K-9 unit to show up. He showed up and guess what? He alerted to the driver's side door of mom's car! No contraband was found and the Deputy's excuse was that there must have been something there previously. My mom doesn't do drugs nor does she transport them.

Bottom line: It's a dog and pony show, where the dog does what the pony tells him.

Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Article comment by: @ Gary Dean

You know that you can be pulled over for just about anything right? "Several moving violations" can be doublespeak for "I felt like it". I have been pulled over because my child wasnt buckled up. However, my child was properly restrained and the officer was wrong. That did not stop him from running all my paperwork and keeping me, and my young children, on the side of the road for over 20 minutes, before letting me go with a lecture on seatbelt safety. Again, my child was buckled securly into a proper booster seat at the time. No apology. I have been pulled over with a vanload of my children and thier friends, all under the age of 12 for my dome light coming on while driving. On that occasion, even after all my paperwork checked out, my family was detained on the side of the road for over 40 min while they brought out a K-9 unit. The reason for a K-9 unit? My husband had an 18 year old marijuana possesion charge so that gave them 'probable cause' to search my vechicle. After telling my children "See that dog? If you got out of the car, that dog would tear you up" and detaining us for so long, we were sent on our way without even an apology. And who do you complain to? Chief of Police? No way. CIty Manager? Same thing. I dont think that I am being targeted and I dont want that to change. I get nervous when I get pulled over and I havent had anything to be nervous about for over 25 years. I wonder how many cars get searched that have no contraband and no recourse against the police???? Personally, I would rather have all that maruijuana on the streets and not have to teach my children to be afraid of thier police force.

Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Dean

I have said it before, and I say it again. If you are transporting contraband, why call attention to yourself by driving irresponsibly and/or carelessly? Shows the intelligence of the modern day drug trafficker.

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