Sonoma’s newest police officer, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd mix named “Dickie,” helped with a marijuana bust Thursday that landed a Brookdale (Santa Cruz County) man in jail.
At about 7:25 p.m. Thursday, an officer from the Sonoma Police Department was in the area of Highway 12 and Madrone Road when he was flagged down by a CHP officer who had made a traffic stop.
The CHP officer told the Sonoma officer that the three individuals in the rented Nissan Altimia were suspicious and he thought they might be transporting marijuana.
The deputy happened to be traveling with his canine partner, Dickie, who is trained and certified in the detection of narcotics. The officer questioned the occupants of the vehicle about their activities during the day and, after receiving conflicting statements, he had Dickie sniff the exterior of the car. Dickie alerted to the trunk area, indicating the odor of narcotics.
The deputy was able to locate and seize 50 pounds of processed marijuana sealed in vacuum-packed plastic bags, along with more than $14,000 cash.
The officer arrested 40-year-old Jeremiah Soria on charges of possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana, along with an outstanding warrant issued by Hollywood police. Soria’s two passengers, a 25-year-old woman from Astoria, N.Y., and a 26-year-old man from Staten Island, N.Y., were released without charges.
Dickie is one of the youngest members of the department’s canine force and has been working for the City of Sonoma Police Department for approximately eight months.