United States Police Canine Association Honors Harford County Sheriff's Deputies
(Bel Air, Md. – March 7, 2006) — Region Three of the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) honored two Harford County Sheriff’s Deputies and their respective canines at the annual awards banquet on March 4th in Greenbelt, Maryland. Deputy First Class Jeremy Mothershed and K-9 Niko as well as Deputy First Class Chris Gibbons and K-9 Spencer were honored for outstanding performance during 2005. DFC Mothershed and K-9 Niko were chosen for their work as the “2005 Detector Case of the Year.”
On Wednesday, March 16, 2005 shortly after 1:00 a.m., DFC Mothershed and K-9 Niko were requested to assist a Maryland State Trooper with a narcotic scan of a vehicle on a traffic stop on southbound I-95 in Harford County. During the scan of the vehicle K-9 Niko alerted on the driver’s door handle and the trunk lid in the area of the license plate. Subsequent to the positive alerts by K-9 Niko, two State Troopers searched the car. During the search the Troopers found two plastic zip-lock storage bags containing a tan substance believed to be heroin. Also found with the heroin were two handguns.
As a result of the evidence from the search, the operator of the vehicle was arrested. Subsequently the tan powder substance field-tested positive for heroin with a total weight just under 1.5 pounds. The heroin was estimated to have a potential street value of $1 million dollars.
The USPCA awarded DFC Mothershed and K-9 Niko both the quarterly detection case award and the top case award for 2005. This marks the second consecutive year that a Harford County Sheriff’s Office K-9 handler and partner have won the top award. Last year DFC John Seilback and K-9 Sabre won the same honor.
DFC Gibbons and K-9 Spencer were recognized for outstanding performance during the second quarter of 2005. DFC Gibbons and K-9 Spencer received a plaque in recognition of their work during a traffic stop on I-95 on May 22, 2005. Following the stop, Maryland State Police from the JFK Highway Barracks requested assistance with a drug scan of a 1996 Nissan Altima. As a result of the scan by DFC Gibbons and his K-9 partner, approximately 11.5 pounds of marijuana was found in the trunk of the vehicle, and approximately $3,000 was found in the drivers door. Subsequently, the operator of the vehicle was arrested and the car confiscated.
The United States Police Canine Association was chartered in Washington, D. C. in August 1971 and is the oldest and largest organization of its kind. There are currently twenty-four regions and four districts across the United States and Canada. The states of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and the District of Columbia comprise Region Three. The Association recognizes officers and their canine partners for exemplary service in each quarter of the year and selects one as the top case award for the entire year.
Commenting on the awards presented to DFC’s Mothershed and Gibbons, Sheriff R. Thomas Golding stated, “These deputies and their canine partners demonstrated outstanding performance during 2005. Their efforts made a dramatic impact in helping their fellow law enforcement officers in removing drugs from our community.”