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Seattle Lawyer John Crowley Argues “Dog Sniff” Motion to Exclude Evidence in Federal Court (Yakima)

A motion was heard on Thursday by the chief judge in federal court in Yakima to exclude evidence seized after a dog “sniffed” the presence of methamphetamine and laundered cash in a motor vehicle.  The defendant, Jaime Rangel-Ceja argued through his attorney John Crowley, ESQ., that the canine expert hired by the defense concluded that here was not sufficient evidence that the K-9 dog actually sniffed methamphetamine.  The expert witness  was a former police officer and now consultant headquartered in Texas and operating under the name of K-9 Consultants.   The expert, Steven Nicely, studied training reports of the K-9 from a 10-year period and came to the conslusion that the dog had a specific training protocol to “sit and stare” when the presence of drugs were found.  Further, Mr. Nicely testified that the dog had been tested using this protocol only.  When the dog was applied to the vehicle in Mr. Rangel-Ceja’s car, however, the dog “cocked” or “casted” his head only (the K-9 handler testified that this signal is how his dog Bear “alerted” to the presence of drugs in the field).  Mr. Nicely contered that it is immaterial what signal a dog uses to alert to the presence of drugs.  The only issue of materiality for a dog trainer and the United States Supreme Court is whether the dog was trained to “cock”  or “cast” his head (the dog was trained to do neither) and whether the dog had passed a testing phase for drug detection even when the dog “casts” or “cocks” his head (he had never been tested using this “alert” either.  A decision is expected within 2-weeks and will be published by The Crowley Law Firm, PLLC, via  press release.