Who doesn’t love dogs?
They are man’s best friend after all.
But can we really trust “drug detection” dogs and their handlers?
We have blogged about these dogs here before:
- What can David Letterman’s Stupid Animal Tricks Teach us About Forensic Science?
- Doggie sniffs are a poor substitute for meaningful analytical chemistry
Here is a story about an extreme case of a false positive from man’s best friend.
Patrol dog smells drugs — but car’s stash is much sweeter
Troopers sniff out counterfeit scents
By Alan Johnson
The Columbus Dispatch Thursday November 22, 2012 7:14 AM
A State Highway Patrol dog sniffed out drugs in a vehicle stopped on the Ohio Turnpike — and found $75,000 in counterfeit perfume as a bonus.
The Elyria post of the patrol made an unusual arrest Monday morning on the turnpike after three men in a 2004 Chevrolet cargo van were stopped for a speeding violation. When the trooper detected the odor of marijuana in the van, a drug-sniffing dog was called to the scene. The dog signaled that it smelled drugs in the vehicle, said Lt. Michael Combs of the patrol. Dogs are trained to react only to specific drug smells, not the fragrance of perfume, he said.
When troopers investigated, they found the van was loaded with boxes containing 1,497 bottles of counterfeit perfume and cologne. The patrol said the haul had an estimated value of $75,000. No drugs were found in the vehicle.
Combs said the troopers thought something was suspicious because of the substandard packaging and labeling of what are normally high-end fragrances. An expert contacted by the patrol confirmed the products were counterfeit.
Arrested were Ali Sobh, 23; Abraham N. Ajami, 23; and Mohamed A. El-Modailal, 40, all of Dearborn, Mich. The three apparently were headed to Cleveland.
They were charged with trademark counterfeiting and criminal simulation (simulating a brand-name product), which are fourth-degree felonies, punishable by a maximum of three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A preliminary hearing in the case was set for Tuesday in Oberlin Municipal Court.
Combs said although a perfume bust isn’t common, “Our troopers are finding all sorts of things — counterfeit clothing, ball caps, shoes and boots. Our troopers are alert and aware.”