A group of Nevada Highway Patrol troopers and a retired police sergeant have filed a racketeering complaint against the NHP and Las Vegas Metro Police in U.S. District Court.
The complaint alleges that after then-Gov. Jim Gibbons approved a K-9 program to target drug runners on Nevada’s highways, Nevada Highway Patrol Commander Chris Perry intentionally undermined the program.
The complaint alleges that the drug-sniffing dogs used by troopers in the program were intentionally being trained to operate as so-called trick ponies, or dogs that provide officers false alerts for the presence of drugs.
The dogs were being trained to alert their handlers by cues, instead of by picking up a drug’s scent by sniffing, the complaint said. When a dog gives a false alert, this resulted in illegal searches and seizures, including money and property, the complaint said.