Alaska State Trooper Detector Canine Academy 2017 Graduates
(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – After completing a six week AST K-9 Detector Academy, ending on May 26, 2017, five K-9 teams are now certified for drug detection work. Equipping communities around the state with drug dogs is part of Governor Bill Walker’s Safer Alaska initiative and now AST will have six certified dog teams in drug detection, three detector only dogs and 3 dual-purpose (Detector and Patrol). Department of Corrections will have one detector dog team.
The certification is considered one of the most difficult in the world due to the number of searches and use of sight, smells, sound and situations in the search areas. The handlers completed a comprehensive final exam to test their knowledge of dog psychology, training philosophy and detection handling. The dogs ranged in age and experience from brand new, untrained dogs to dogs who have certified in the past. The same is true for the handlers.
The K-9 Teams are:
Investigator Joel Miner and K9 MOCHA - DEA Task Force Anchorage
Investigator Larry Dur'an and K9 Misty Ketchikan SDEU
Investigator Andrew Ballesteros and K9 Mak MatSu SDEU
Trooper Daron Cooper and K9 Blazer MatSu Patrol
Trooper Andy Deveaux and K9 Skippy MatSu Patrol
Trooper Christine Joslin and K9 Scout Fairbanks Patrol
Officer Joshua Wood and K9 Koda - Department of Corrections
Inv. Miner and Inv. Dur'an are certified as Canine Instructors for AST at the conclusion of this academy. Both of their dogs, K9 MOCHA and K9 Misty certified on April 6, 2017. Inv. Miner and K9 MOCHA have conducted 15 searches in 50 days, resulting in seizures of: 87.6 grams of Heroin, 470.6 grams of Cocaine, 3,820.53 grams of Methamphetamine, $42,342.00 in cash, 3 guns, 150 Oxycodone pills, 8 grams of psylicibin mushrooms and 1 gram of LSD.
K9 Misty was out of commission for a while for spade surgery after the first academy concluded and has had the opportunity to conduct one search with a seizure of $10,000.00 in cash and a small amount of controlled substance.