K9 sniffs out meth during routine traffic stop

Posted: Updated:

CAMP VERDE - The following is a press release from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office:

On November 26th, at approximately 1 A.M., a Yavapai County Sheriff's Office K9 Deputy stopped a northbound white Honda sedan for impeding traffic and a registration violation on the I17 near Camp Verde. The deputy contacted the driver, identified as 57-year-old Bridgeport resident Tavis Easter, and discussed the traffic violations and the K9 narcotics interdiction program. Although Easter exhibited extremely nervous behavior after learning about the presence of the K9, he denied possessing any drugs.

The deputy deployed K9 "Aros" for an exterior sniff of Easter's vehicle and he immediately alerted aggressively on the driver's door area. Easter still denied that there were any drugs in the vehicle. As a result of the K9 alert, the deputy began searching the passenger compartment and located an "Arizona Ice Tea" can which did not feel consistent with a genuine drink can. The deputy unscrewed the top and discovered it was in fact a "hide-a-can" (like the pictured sample) which contained new coin size plastic bags normally used to package and sell drugs.

Easter claimed the special container belonged to a friend. During a search of Easter's person, the deputy felt a suspicious item near his waistband and discovered a small cloth bag attached to the waistband with a string. The bag contained nearly 9 grams of methamphetamine which was divided and packaged for sale. Easter claimed he had just bought the drugs in Phoenix but did not state his further intent with the contraband. He denied any additional drugs stashed on his person.

Easter was booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center for Transportation of Dangerous Drugs for Sale and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. During the booking process, the deputy found marijuana in Easter's shoe. He was additionally charged with Possession of Marijuana and Taking Contraband into a Jail.