WILMINGTON — The Wilmington Police Department’s new K9 officer recently made his first bust.
Miko, who started his tour of duty with Officer Jordan Ianson on Nov. 25, sniffed out narcotics during a traffic stop at 9:09 p.m. Saturday around East Locust and North South Streets, leading to an arrest.
According to the police report, the stop was conducted after Ianson witnessed the vehicle driving over the curb and sidewalk while turning right onto North Lincoln Street.
“I stopped the vehicle and before I made my passenger side approach, I could see the male driver … leaning to his right, over the center console,” said Ianson in the report. “It appeared the male was reaching for an item in the passenger floorboard.”
Ianson halted his approach and advised dispatch to bring another unit.
“I advised the driver to keep his hands out of his vehicle and to keep them there,” he said.
When other units arrived, they conducted a “high-risk traffic stop” and ordered the driver out. The driver was identified as a 49-year-old male.
The suspect questioned why the officers were “doing this” and why he was stopped. He was ordered to move back to Ianson. Once the driver was at the front tire of Ianson’s cruiser, officers soon handcuffed him.
When advised why he was stopped, the suspect advised the vehicle didn’t have power steering. When advised why he was being detained, the suspect advised he was “messing with the radio, and his phone was in the passenger seat.”
After the suspect was placed in a cruiser, Ianson got Miko to inspect the vehicle. Ianson asked the suspect if there were any narcotics there. The suspect advised, “Not that I know of.” The report noted that as the suspect said that, “He was now looking out the cruiser door and looking at his vehicle as if he was trying to remember.”
The suspect argued about how he didn’t give officers permission to inspect the vehicle. Officers advised they didn’t need permission for this.
Ianson and Miko walked over the passenger floorboard to see what the suspect was looking for and didn’t locate anything in “plain view.”
“Miko was engaged on the vehicle and I could hear him sniffing. His tail was wagging and I could tell he was having fun.”
Nothing was found on the first pass. During the second pass, Miko sniffed high on the passenger rear door, came past the passenger side front door and displayed an alerting behavior and that narcotics were present.
Officers inspected the vehicle and located a small zipped-up “hard case” in the driver side door. Inside it were three hypodermic syringes and a small bag containing a brown powder substance appearing to be heroin. No other contraband was found.
The suspect was transported to the Clinton County Jail and was charged with two counts of alleged drug abuse instrument possession.