The Yavapai County Sheriff’s K9 unit has added two new teams this month.
Deputy Trevor Hearl and his service dog, Vader, and Deputy John Bounds and his service dog, Cyrus, graduated the Arizona Department of Corrections K9 Academy in December.
The K9 Academy consists of 320 hours of onsite training in Tucson.
Participants live on-site during the course which takes place at the Arizona Correctional Officers Training Academy.
“The training for both deputies and their K9 partners is rigorous throughout the academy and both are constantly tested before certification,” Sheriff’s spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn said.
There is no cost to law enforcement agencies for this specialized training.
During the academy, new K9 handlers learn about scent theory as it relates to narcotics detection and tracking.
They also learn about handler protection training.
Hearl was certified in Narcotics Detection and Bounds was certified in Narcotic Detection and Handler Protection.
On Jan. 3, 2018 Deputy Hearl was working narcotics interdiction along Interstate 40 near Ash Fork when he observed a silver sedan acting suspiciously. The eastbound vehicle was eventually stopped for speeding.
The driver, 19-year-old Francisco Solorzano and his passenger, Alexis Ramirez, 21, both of California, were contacted.
During a consensual search of the vehicle 25.5 pounds of packaged marijuana was seized from the trunk, according to a YCSO report. The drugs were being transported east for delivery, YSCO said.
Both suspects were arrested and booked into the Camp Verde Detention center. They have been charged with possession and transportation of marijuana for sale and each remains in custody on a $15,000 bond.