Ca­nines join drug fight in Pil­bara

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Two trusty po­lice dogs have pitched in to help Pil­bara po­lice ar­rest six peo­ple in a Kar­ratha drug op­er­a­tion last week.

WA Po­lice ca­nine sec­tion po­lice dogs Grover and Dakota and their han­dlers Se­nior Con­sta­ble Mitch Rowe and Se­nior Con­sta­ble Dave Fa­gan vis­ited town for three days as part of Op­er­a­tion Mala­part, tar­get­ing the sale and sup­ply of drugs in the City of Kar­ratha area.

From last Tues­day to Thurs­day, they joined po­lice in search­ing five res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties where they al­legedly found metham­phetamine, MDMA, cannabis, drug para­pher­na­lia, cash and weapons.

The searches led to the ar­rest of six peo­ple on a com­bined 22 charges, in­clud­ing in­ten­tion to sell or sup­ply metham­phetamine and cannabis.

West Pil­bara De­tec­tive Sergeant Adam Foster praised Grover and Dakota as key play­ers in their suc­cess­ful drug op­er­a­tion.

“We wanted to run a good, de­cent op­er­a­tion, quite in­depth, and drug dogs are a good as­set for us when it comes to do­ing drug war­rants,” he said.

“It’s quite hard to get them out into re­gional ar­eas at the best of times, but we man­aged to plan this well in ad­vance so that we could get them up here and it’s co­in­cided with the op­er­a­tion and ev­ery­thing else.”

As well as the star ca­nines, the in­volved op­er­a­tion in­cluded of­fi­cers from the WA Po­lice ca­nine sec­tion, West and East Pil­bara de­tec­tives, Kar­ratha po­lice, West Pil­bara foren­sics, Pil­bara youth crime in­ter­ven­tion of­fi­cers, Dampier po­lice and Roe­bourne po­lice.

Grover and Dakota also checked parcels at the Kar­ratha post of­fice and bag­gage at Kar­ratha air­port on Thurs­day with­out find­ing any pos­i­tive in­di­ca­tions of drugs.

Det. Sgt Foster said as an iso­lated re­gional area where some peo­ple had a lot of dis­pos­able in­come, there were a lot of dif­fer­ent ways drugs could en­ter Kar­ratha and its dis­tricts — by air, boat or road.

“Drugs are an is­sue ev­ery­where in the state and Kar­ratha’s not ex­empt,” he said.

“So we wanted to do an overt ac­tion in the towns of Kar­ratha to ... ap­pre­hend peo­ple that are com­mit­ting of­fences against the Mis­use of Drugs Act, and just put the word out there that we’re go­ing to be look­ing at those sorts of peo­ple and mak­ing sure that we’re keep­ing them on their toes.”

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Po­lice drug de­tec­tion dog Dakota with han­dler Se­nior Con­sta­ble Dave Fa­gan.

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