New detector dogs reinforce border security - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

New detector dogs reinforce border security

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There's a new weapon on the front lines of the Mexican Border to combat drug and human smugglers. Though drug dogs aren't anything new, a new group of dogs are the first of their kind on our border in nearly twenty years.

It's up to a group of highly trained men and women to ensure those entering the U.S. aren't smuggling people or drugs into the country.

"We really have to maintain our enforcement posture because there are people out there trying to do us harm," San Ysidro Port Director David Murphy said.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection's newest weapon's name is United, a state of the art dog, or at least his training is.

"What the dog is looking for is the odor of narcotics. Now that could be in anything. The nice thing about having the pedestrian dogs is that they can pinpoint the source of the odor," Murphy said.

United is part of a new pilot program being tested first at the San Ysidro crossing. K-9's haven't been used in this environment since the 90's, but already in this first month the dogs are seeing results.

"We've had nine seizures in October," Murphy said.

"They call them the super dogs because they can do vehicles, they can do concealed humans," K-9 handler Sigi Fredo Elgado said.

Officer Delgado is United's handler. The difference with the way United is trained from dogs back in the 80s and 90's is that he can now not only search cars outside but can come inside to sniff out drugs among those standing in line.

"It really gives us that refining element to try to determine when people have something in their shoes, when they have it under their clothes, strapped to them," Murphy said.

United has already taken down drug smugglers. To him it's a game.

"When he finds the narcotic odor he gets his reward," Elgado said.

But to officials of the CBP, it's another win for the good guys in the ongoing war against drugs.

In the first month these new type of detector dogs busted people with drugs duct taped to their legs, stomach and inner thighs.

The dogs noses are so sensitive that even purses or backpacks that once had narcotics in them have been alerted on despite not having the actual drug inside at the time of the alert.

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