LAS VEGAS — Two Nevada Highway Patrol troopers and a retired police sergeant claim local K-9s are trained as "trick ponies" that merely follow cues from their handlers instead of truly sniffing for drugs, according to reports.
A 104-page complaint alleges Nevada Highway Patrol Commander Chris Perry, other troopers and Las Vegas Metro police officers routinely had the K-9s make false alerts, resulting in unlawful searches and seizures for the agencies’ financial benefit, according to 8 News Now.
In one incident, Las Vegas police detectives allegedly poked holes into parcels from a sorting belt so their K-9s could alert more easily, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.
Ken McKenna, the troopers' lawyer, said a video uploaded to YouTube in May is evidence of Las Vegas officers "cueing" their K-9s. The dash cam footage shot during a traffic stop claims to show a handler approach an ice chest containing methamphetamine and give a K-9 a toy — signaling drugs were found — even though the K-9 never alerted.
Additional allegations include claims of racketeering, corruption and abuse of office. Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Gail Powell said they were false and filed by "disgruntled" officers.