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Tag: manatee county

Probable schnozz: K-9′s nose questioned

A circuit judge in Manatee County, Florida, has thrown out evidence in a drug possession case, ruling that police based their search of a vehicle on a narcotics-sniffing dog whose nose was not up to snuff.

Matthew McNeal is the second Manatee County defendant to escape drug possession charges this year by challenging the track record of Talon, a now-retired K-9 from the Palmetto Police Department, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Defense attorneys have shown Talon “alerted” that there were drugs in almost every vehicle he checked, yet officers found drugs less than half the time.

Talon’s nose was not accurate enough to justify searching McNeal’s car, Circuit Judge Diana Moreland wrote in a Nov. 12 ruling.

Prosecutors have no case without being able to show a jury the oxycodone and methadone that officers say they eventually found in McNeal’s glove compartment. They are appealing Moreland’s ruling.