INDIANAPOLIS - Interstate 70 through Hancock and Henry counties is a busy corridor for drug trafficking through the Midwest, police said.
The Pro-Active Criminal Enforcement (PACE) team, a first of its kind in Indiana, is a multi-jurisdictional drug-task force that has kept a close eye on I-70 since Deputy Nick Earnstes started it in 2009.
Since then, the PACE team has intercepted more than 100 pounds of cocaine, 75 pounds of heroin, 1,000 pounds of marijuana and $2 million in illegal drug money. The team has also recovered more than $300,000 in stolen property and rescued a 15-year-old girl who was being smuggled along the route.
With the seized drug money, the team was able to pay to have Mani, an English Springer Spaniel, specially trained at Ultimate Canine in Carmel.
"Basically we set up everyday scenarios, everyday venues to simulate real life scenarios," said K-9 trainer Julie Case.
Mani has been training for weeks and has learned to ignore distractions and find hidden drugs in all kinds of places, including during vehicle stops when drug traffickers are most vulnerable.
Mani's training and supplies cost about $8,000, but his service to the PACE team is solid investment.
"This will just give us the ability to have another K-9 available. Because sometimes on the highway, time is sensitive and crucial to the investigation," Earnstes said.
Marion Co. among 5 selected for pre-K program
The five Indiana counties to participate in the state's early learning pilot program have been selected, officials announced Tuesday.
Boy, 15, gunned down on city's NE side
A 15-year-old boy was killed in a shooting on the city's northeast side Monday evening.
Indiana is mostly unhappy, study shows
If you live in Indiana, there's a good chance you are unhappy.
Lowe's to employ up to 1K at Indy call center
Home-improvement retailer Lowe's says it will open a new call center in Indianapolis that could have up to 1,000 employees in the next couple years.
Fire forces evac of assisted living facility
All 33 residents of an assisted living facility southwest of Indianapolis made it safely out of the building after a fire was reported…
Ex-city councilman sentenced for child molesting
A former northeastern Indiana city councilman and retired teacher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on child molesting charges.