Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyers

Nevada Troopers Accused of Using Drug Dogs For Illegal Searches

A police drug dog is trained to sniff out drugs and alert their handler. A “hit” or a positive-sniff test can be enough for an officer to search a vehicle on the side of the road. But what if the dogs were trained to “hit” on cars after seeing a hand movement from their handler instead of actually sniffing drugs?

That’s what a complaint against the Nevada Highway Patrol alleges.

According to 8 News Now, troopers and a retired police sergeant have filed a complaint against the Nevada Highway Patrol and Las Vegas Metro Police. They allege that the K9 program was undermined by Nevada Highway Patrol Commander Chris Perry.

According to the complaint, the dogs used by troopers were being trained to give false-alerts to their handlers. “The dogs were being trained to alert their handlers by cues, instead of by picking up a drug’s scent by sniffing.”

This practice, they allege, resulted in illegal searches and seizures, “including money and property.”

The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court this week.

Defendants named in the complaint include the Public Safety Department, and individuals from Metro Police and the Highway Patrol. They are accused of being involved in a Federal RICO conspiracy, as well as being involved in corruption, abuse of office, and cover ups.

When you are pulled over on the side of the road, an officer’s attitude is often based off of his initial impression of you. If you fit a certain stereotype, you may find him treating you like a suspect even when you were only stopped for speeding.

If you are in this situation, stopped by an officer on the side of the road, you still have rights. Without a warrant or probable cause, an officer can only ask you if they can search your car. And you can say no. But if the officer is fabricating evidence to create probable cause (ie. saying you look like you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol), they can search your vehicle without your consent.

For people who have never been in this situation, it sounds far-fetched, like it would only happen in the rarest of circumstances. The truth is, it happens more than the general public might think.

If you were stopped for a traffic offense and it turned into something more like drug charges or a DUI, we may be able to help. Call our offices today for a consultation on your case.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 2nd, 2012 at 8:12 pm and is filed under drug charges. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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Posted by How Reliable Are Drug Sniffing Dogs?, July 11th, 2012 at 5:57 pm

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