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Preston County fights drug crime with 5 police dogs

Dominion Post photo by Michelle Wolford Preston County Sheriff’s Department K-9s with their handlers. From left, Deputy R.A. Stockett and Okan; Sheriff Dan Loughrie and Major; Sgt. T.E. Mitter and Blek; Cpl. S.R. Mitter and Dixie; and Deputy First Class J.B. Childers and Grif.
Dominion Post photo by Michelle Wolford
Preston County Sheriff’s Department K-9s with their handlers. From left, Deputy R.A. Stockett and Okan; Sheriff Dan Loughrie and Major; Sgt. T.E. Mitter and Blek; Cpl. S.R. Mitter and Dixie; and Deputy First Class J.B. Childers and Grif.

KINGWOOD, W.Va. — There are now five dogs working with the Preston County Sheriff’s Department.

The increase in K-9 officers is for one primary reason, Loughrie said.

“It’s the drugs we’re after.”

Sgt. T.E. Mitter is senior dog handler for the department. He and his K-9, Blek, have been working together for about five years, Mitter said. Blek’s numbers speak for themselves, Mitter said.

Mitter said most of the drug arrests the dogs have worked have been “on 68 near the Bruceton area.”

“We have I-68 and two major federal highways (U.S. routes 50 and 219) which cartels are using. We’ve become a hub and a safehouse for drugs.”

Two deputies completed training at the beginning of February at Shallow Creek Kennels, in Sharpsville, Pa. at the beginning of February.

Deputy First Class J.B. Childers is now working with Grif, a German shepherd.

Mitter said Grif “averages a drug arrest per day…

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