DPS Introduces New Cash-Sniffing K-9 to Curtail Illegal Gambling
A new member of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) will play a key role in stolen money and illegal gambling cases.
The Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division with DPS introduced Bia, a German shorthaired pointer, on Wednesday in Golden Valley. The division’s first K-9 is capable of recognizing odors from currency.
Bia arrived from Hungary and spent months training with the Minnesota State Patrol to hone her skills. She will help law enforcement with search warrants to sniff out cash hidden in homes, buildings, vehicles and even money buried in yards.
“Bia with her nose — she’s obviously got a lot more powerful nose than any of us humans,” said Brad Rezny, special agent with DPS. “She’s able to locate not only the odor, but locate the source of it in a fraction of the time it would take us to search an entire building or room.”
Rezny says once Bia detects currency, she’s trained to remain in place, allowing agents to quickly uncover the hidden cash. During Wednesday’s demonstration, Bia sniffed out a bag filled with 500 $2 bills.
“She’s not going to find a $20 bill sitting atop your dresser. That’s not what we’re looking for,” explained Rezny. “We’re looking for the larger criminal operations that have mass amounts of money or bulk currency that they’re using for illegal purposes.”
Rezny says the hope is that Bia will provide eight to nine years of service with DPS before retiring. The special agent added that Bia will continue to train regularly.
And the reward for Bia’s police work? Her handler says she gets play time with her favorite squishy ball.
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