ESCANABA,MI - Delta County Sheriff's Dep. Tom Lewis and K-9 partner "Benny" are marking 12 months on the job together.
Benny, a German shepherd, has been used in over 200 cases where illegal drug activity was suspected.
Many circumstances can lead to a search, like a tip, questions asked by police during a traffic stop, a motorist's behavior, or items noticed inside the car - like lots of air freshener. They can all lead to reasonable suspicion, and that's most likely when Benny would be sent sniffing.
Dogs can "alert" on exterior items such as outside vents, door seams and gas caps. "A lot of (arrested) people have dope on their hands, and they'll touch the door handles, for example," said Lewis.
Based on a year's worth of incident reports, Lewis estimates the number of drug arrests have more than tripled since the department acquired Benny.