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After seizing $1.7M cash and a lot of drugs, decorated sniffer dog bows out

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After an illustrious 8-year career with the Minnesota State Patrol during which he helped seize $1.7 million in drug money, it's time for a sniffer dog named Arco to retire.

WCCO reports that the 10-year-old K-9 officer has worked with his handler – Sgt. Chad Mills – since early 2007 along the Interstate 90 corridor, during which time he was deployed 351 times.

His achievements are impressive; the State Patrol tells WCCO that in his eight years with the force, Arco uncovered:

  • $1.7 million in drug money
  • 605 pounds of marijuana
  • 52 pounds of cocaine
  • 37 pounds of methamphetamine
  • 115 ecstasy tablets
  • 22 firearms
  • Quantities of heroin, LSD, mushrooms and hash

Arco's keen nose for wrongdoing also led him to discovering five secret compartments in vehicles, the state patrol noted.

His career has been littered with accolades from the start, with Arco and Mills winning first place in the overall narcotics detection competition at the 2007 U.S. Police K-9 National Detector Trials, according to DL-Online.

In 2011, Arco's exploits were highlighted by PoliceOne.com, which awarded him "Case of the Year" for a traffic stop that led to a major drug bust in February 2011.

The website notes that after Mills pulled over a Chevrolet Impala on I-90, Arco began sniffing at an air vent near the steering wheel. He was taken to the hood of the car to follow the scent and discovered inside the battery were three packages of meth and cocaine tightly wrapped in electric tape.

When he wasn't working, the state patrol noted on its Facebook page that the Belgian Malinois enjoys chew toys and his favorite treat is a beef knuckle.

May your retirement be filled with beef knuckles, Officer Arco.

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