Drug Sniffer “Diesel” Retires

Media Release:

A police narcotics dog in West Hawai’i is headed for retirement at the end of the week.

Diesel, an 8-year-old narcotics detection canine, is seen with his teammate, Officer Edwin A. Buyten, who is displaying a bag of methamphetamines that Diesel sniffed out while it was hidden behind the engine and firewall of a meth distributor's vehicle.

Diesel is an 8-year-old yellow Labrador retriever who began his career at the Hawai’i Police Department in February 2007 as part of a certified narcotics detection team with Officer Edwin A. Buyten. Since that time, Diesel has been responsible for the following recoveries:

• Roughly 8 pounds of methamphetamine

• Roughly 20 pounds of marijuana

• Roughly 2 ounces of heroin

• Roughly 3 pounds of cocaine

• Roughly $250,000 in cash seizures

• Roughly 20 vehicle seizures

Diesel has also traveled throughout the state and assisted with outside investigations at the request of the FBI, the DEA, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Customs Services and the U.S. Secret Service.

The canine has an extremely passive disposition, which allowed him to participate in the D.A.R.E. program, local parades, educational demonstrations at the various Big Island schools and other community events.

Two of his most notable recoveries took place in Kona.

The first was an investigation at the Kona airport at which the Hawai’i Police Department, the FBI and the DEA received information about a large quantity of methamphetamines being transported from the mainland to Kona. Diesel conducted a screen on luggage and provided an alert on a bag. After the execution of a search warrant, investigators located more than 2.5 pounds of methamphetamines with a street value exceeding $150,000 dollars.

The second was when investigators from the Hawai’i Police Department requested the deployment of Diesel on a vehicle being operated by a known methamphetamine distributor. The woman was extremely cooperative with investigators and said numerous times that the officers could search her vehicle. Once deployed, Diesel immediately climbed underneath the vehicle and provided an alert to the firewall area. After the execution of a search warrant, officers located more than 5 ounces of methamphetamines hidden behind the engine and firewall. The drugs had a street value of $15,000 dollars.

Diesel plans to leave the Kona police station on Friday to live out his days in bliss in the Waimea area.

Big Island Police to Get K-9 to Help With Missing Persons

Media Release:

Police Chief Harry Kubojiri is happy to announce that Big Island police will soon have another valuable tool in locating missing persons. The Friends of the Missing Child Center of Hawai’i is graciously donating a scent-discriminating tracking dog to the police department.

The male Labrador named Magnum was purchased through a grant that the non-profit organization was able to secure from the Atherton Foundation. During his training in North Carolina, Magnum was already credited with finding a missing person.

The dog arrived in the state last week and has been housed at the Honolulu Police Department’s training and canine facility in Waipahu. He is scheduled to arrive in Kona on Thursday (July 14th).

Chief Kubojiri said the Police Department anxiously awaits Magnum’s arrival. “While, thankfully, it’s rare that a child goes missing in our community, we must remain prepared for such a tragic event,” he said. “Since Tucker’s retirement more than three years ago, we have been without such an asset in West Hawai’i.”