ATC’s new K9 unit trained to detect synthetic drugs

Photo provided by FOX44
Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 10:30pm

Louisiana's war on synthetic drugs has a new weapon.

Ace, is just a normal 2-and-a-half year old German Shephard, until he smells an illegal substance.

Ace’s handler is Scott McIver with the ATC. For seven months, the pair has worked as a team to find all types of drugs, including synthetic drugs.

Ace has been trained to sniff out synthetics because a lot of establishments are going to sell that as well.

When searching, Ace will go right behind the counter, down each aisle and even scope out the store's back room for synthetic drugs.

When his tail starts wagging a little slower, Ace smells something that shouldn't be there – a suspected synthetic drug. However, these drugs are constantly changing , and it seems that every time one gets banned, another pops up in its place.

The ATC's commissioner Troy Hebert says something has to be done to get products like these out of the stores for good.

Synthetic drugs have been blamed for hideous acts; in October 2012, Walker resident Jeffrey Reynolds blamed synthetic drugs as the cause for him cutting his unborn child out of his pregnant wife’s stomach.

As Louisiana's war against synthetic drugs rages on, this new partnership is working; word is getting out about Ace and others like him and it is becoming a deterrent.

Ace lives with Agent McIver and his family. The pair trains daily.

“He responds to any type of positive reinforcement: clapping to him, high-pitch noises, good-bye and the Dutch terms,” stated McIver.

Ace is a bilingual dog of sorts. He was born in the Netherlands, before making Louisiana his permanent home.

Speaking for Ace, McIver is warning businesses to not sell synthetic drugs.

The ATC was able to buy Ace with money obtained from synthetic drug busts. 

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