Ocala police say K9 finds $220K worth of drugs

- Police K9 Luna sniffed out 27 kilograms of marijuana, even though it was tightly wrapped in eight vacuum-sealed bags, authorities said.  Despite that, the smell of THC was clear to the K9 and she led her handler right to it, according to police.

"The dog is actually looking for an object that has the freshest human scent," said K9 trainer, Gerard King.

King says their dog's superior sense of smell coupled with rigorous training is what gives their K9s a leg up. Also, the dogs aren't trained in English.

"We try to train our dogs in the language of the area they came from," King said.  "We don't want really want anyone telling our dogs what to do."

Luna is one of the department's five active K9s, all of which have over 480 hours of training and a state certification. But before they can train, they have to be chosen. King said for every 20-30 dogs, only one becomes a candidate, training to find things like drugs.

"We're always trying to challenge them. We'll put it up real high. We'll put it underneath something on the floor. We'll try to conceal it with smells."

That training came in handy during Friday's drug bust when Luna, not only found the 27 kilos of marijuana, but found 500 THC vape inserts. Vape inserts are in little cartridges that contain oil, therefore concealing the smell of THC to humans.

"These dogs never stop amazing me. That's why I'm still doing it," said King, who has been working with K9s for 20 years.

The drugs were heading from California to St. Petersburg. The investigation is ongoing and although the drugs were seized, so far, no arrests have been made.

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