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12-13-07, 05:18 PM #1Officer First Class
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Mesa Drug Bust - 2,300lbs. of Marijuana
Mesa K-9 sniffs out suspect, $1.4M in drugs
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 12, 2007 06:05 PM
Spike the police dog got his man. Mesa police hauled in packages of marijuana valued at $1.4 million. And the suspect was so scared that he soiled his pants.
Eulalio Miranda Araujo, 45, was tracked down by Spike, hiding in a garbage can near Southern Avenue and Stapley Road after he ran from a van loaded with 2,314 pounds of marijuana early Tuesday morning.
"He told the officers later the dog really scared him," Mesa K-9 officer John LaFontaine said.
A black Belgian Malinois, Spike picked up Araujo's scent, ran up to garbage can in a backyard, jumped on it and started barking. Araujo didn't come out at first because he was so afraid, LaFontaine said, and he needed a shower after losing control of himself.
"Every time you get a find, you're proud of him," the officer said. "It's like one of your kids hitting a home run."
Spike replaced Leon, a police dog tragically killed by a car earlier this year. He's only been on the job for 2½ months and he's already tracked down six suspects, LaFontaine said.
"He's a little stubborn, a little hard-headed, but he definitely likes to search. He wants to please me."
But Spike would have had no one to find without the alert police work of Mesa Lt. Michael Soelberg, who spotted three cars following each other bumper-to-bumper at 12:30 a.m. at Emerald and Stapley. The van did not have its lights on, Soelberg said.
"It was midnight on a rainy night," Soelberg said. "It's not normal in the middle of the night."
Soelberg followed the van to Stapley and 10th Avenue. He stopped the van after it ran a red light. The driver fled on foot and the chase was on. LaFontaine and Spike were called to help after the driver jumped a fence and ran down an alley, eluding Soelberg.
Commander John Meza praised Soelberg for "good, old-fashioned police work" in following the van and said it was the largest seizure of marijuana in at least the last 15 years by Mesa police.
"This was this lieutenant being very aware, very sharp," Meza said. "This is the largest seizure of marijuana that our department has had for a long time."
Soelberg said police are working with the Drug Enforcement Administration to learn whether Araujo was a "mule" hired to transport the marijuana or a bigger fish in the scheme. He said they are working under the theory that the marijuana was headed to a drop house in the area.
"It probably does" happen all the time, Soelberg said. "There's so much drugs out there. It's the right place at the right time."
He said the other two cars fled and police are working to track down the suspects. Araujo was arrested on suspicion of transporting marijuana for sale and criminal trespassing. "During questioning, he admitted transporting marijuana but would not give any further details," according to a police report.
The report said Araujo is an undocumented immigrant, has lived in Mesa for three months and works at a Mexican restaurant.
12-13-07, 05:35 PM #2
Good pop!To be a good Law Enforcement Officer you MUST know the law!
12-13-07, 05:42 PM #3
Schweeeet!The true measure of your character is what you choose to do when you think no one is looking.
12-13-07, 05:56 PM #4
wooo hooo go spike!!!http://www.allpoetry.com/Grunts%20Girl
We dallied under
Vine maples and sapling alders
Searched for lady slippers
Found blackberry riots and
An old skid road
Brought ghost ferns and
Hollows filled with
While waves wrapped
Intricate lacings of weeds
'Round mule spinners
His cyanotic eyes
Were hard enough to make
The sun turn tail and
Tender enough to attract me
To his world of illusion
12-13-07, 05:57 PM #5The report said Araujo is an undocumented immigrant, has lived in Mesa for three months and works at a Mexican restaurant.
Wow, somehow I was channeling an idiot for a moment. Let's go raid mexican restaurants, shall we? I have a feeling the employees would run almost as fast as the cockroaches.
And goooood doggie! who wants to play with a ball??? Was that nasty man easier to track after he shit himself?\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
`` ` ` ` (3--(____)
"...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
12-13-07, 06:02 PM #6Officer First Class
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Was that nasty man easier to track after he shit himself?
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