Sat, Dec. 07

K9 Miley retires leaving a trail of drug seizures; handler promoted to detective

Detective Eric Lopez and K9 Miley. Photo courtesy of YCSO

Detective Eric Lopez and K9 Miley. Photo courtesy of YCSO

PRESCOTT – A Yavapai County Sheriff’s K9 officer with a legendary record for sniffing out illegal drugs has retired.

Aug. 2, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors approved the sale of K9 Miley to Detective Eric Lopez for $1. Miley had worked with Lopez for the past five years as part of the four-person K9 team focusing on narcotics interdiction in Yavapai County. Lopez was recently promoted to detective and is assigned to the Prescott based Criminal Investigations Bureau.

From June 2016 to June of 2017, the YCSO K9 unit saw a major increase in the seizure of hard narcotics. During this period, YCSO K9’s seized more of these narcotics than any of the five previous years, according to a new release from Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Media Relations Coordinator Dwight D’Evelyn.

Those arrests resulted in the confiscation of:

-40 pounds of methamphetamine.

-12.5 pounds of cocaine.

-2.8 pounds of heroin.

-226 pounds of marijuana.

-Two stolen vehicles.

Notable seizures in 2017, said Dwight D’Evelyn, involved K9 Miley and Deputy Lopez finding 14 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in a fuel tank as well as 11 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in the firewall of another passenger vehicle among many other significant seizures.

Additionally, said D’Evelyn, the YCSO K9 team was involved in the pursuit of a stolen vehicle earlier this year. The pursuit ended in deputies taking gunfire from the suspects, both of whom were later found and arrested near Bearizona in Williams, with the assistance of other local agencies and SWAT teams. Deputy Lopez was one of the lead units in the pursuit and subsequent search for suspects.

Eric’s work with Miley has resulted in two recent awards including recognition from the Arizona Narcotics Officers Association as “K9 Officer of the Year” for his work in the Bearizona case, and “Detection Case of the Quarter for 2017” by the National Police Canine Association involving the discovery of 14 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in a fuel tank.

Miley can now enjoy a well-earned life of dog bones and play, said D’Evelyn.

Sheriff Scott Mascher expressed gratitude to all the members of the YCSO K9 team for their hard work and dedication in taking dangerous drugs off our streets. During the promotion ceremony in the Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Mascher thanked Detective Lopez for his significant contribution to this effort over the past five years.

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