07/08/2012

NC man sentenced in case where K-9 ate cocaine, died

Sheriff's drug-detecting Belgian Malinois named Viper ingested a fatal amount of cocaine

Associated Press

NEW BERN, N.C.  — A North Carolina man whose hidden cocaine was found by a police dog that bit into the package and died has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors said a judge Friday ordered 33-year-old Jamie Gonzalez-Lopez to spend 135 months behind bars. He pleaded guilty to several drug charges.

Authorities say undercover federal agents ordered a kilogram of cocaine from Gonzalez-Lopez in July 2011. Gonzalez-Lopez then hid the drugs in a Brunswick County field while waiting to meet the "buyer."

Agents arrested Gonzalez-Lopez, and a sheriff's drug-sniffing Belgian Malinois named Viper was sent into the field to find the drugs. Viper accidentally bit into the package and bit and shook it, ingesting a fatal amount of cocaine.

More than 200 people turned out for a memorial service for the dog.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press

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