On his first official patrol shift, new San Benito County Sheriff’s K-9 officer “Fino” made a find of nearly an ounce of methamphetamine and nearly 16 pounds of processed marijuana, according to a press release from the Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to a home in the 300 block of Magladry Road in rural San Benito County to assist Hollister Animal Control, which needed to seize two dogs. While Deputy Scott Parsons was watching the interaction between Animal Control, Kevin Sexton and Earl Matthews, he saw Nick Strader run out of the house and hide something on the back porch, according to the release. That item was later to be determined to be 4 grams of methamphetamine, deputies said.
Deputy Bill Hutchison retrieved his K-9 partner Fino and conducted a search of a vehicle on the property that belonged to Strader. Fino alerted Hutchison to portions of the vehicle that revealed a book with the center of the pages cut out, concealing another 4 grams of methamphetamine. In the trunk, Fino alerted on nearly 16 pounds of processed marijuana, the department said.
Further investigation by the Unified Narcotic Enforcement Team (UNET) revealed an illegal marijuana cultivation operation on the property. Sexton, Matthews and Strader were arrested on narcotic sales and marijuana cultivation charges and Jennifer Riggs was arrested for a probation violation.