Speeding through the school zone leads to more than expensive ticket
By Robin Scott
Mr. Rogeness’s failure to reduce his speed lead to much more than the costly traffic citation for driving too fast through a school zone. When he rolled his window down to hand Lt. Darin Davis of the Dalhart Police Department his driver’s license, the smell of marijuana poured from his vehicle, causing Lt. Davis to call for assistance from K-9 Unit Sgt. Troy Thrash and Maggie, the city’s narcotics detection dog.
Maggie’s record for alerting on drugs is 100%, which means if drugs or drug paraphernalia that have been used for drugs are present, she will alert. Not only has Maggie alerted on drugs in several vehicles passing through the Dalhart area, she has sniffed out drugs under some very unusual circumstances. During Monday’s search, Maggie alerted on the gas tank nozzle of the vehicle. When Sgt. Thrash opened the door to the gas nozzle, he found a marijuana pipe. According to the driver, the pipe had been in that location for quite awhile and although he stated he would have admitted it was there, he was surprised that Maggie was able to discover it. Sgt. Thrash stated, “No one seems to believe that these dogs can actually discover the drugs. I just shake my head, because if they are there, she’ll find them.”
Mr. Rogeness was cited for exceeding the speed limit in a school zone, no auto liability insurance, expired registration and an expired inspection sticker. Mr. Rogeness stated he didn’t know that having drug paraphernalia in Texas was wrong, stating that it was okay on the west coast; however, Mr. Rogeness had a Texas driver’s license and his vehicle was licensed in Texas.
Lt. Davis commented that he had pulled Mr. Rogeness over because he was traveling at 49 miles per hour in the 35 mile an hour school zone and added, “But when he opened the window, that strange smell that I have come to know as being marijuana was fairly strong.” No marijuana was found inside the vehicle, but the driver admitted to having smoked several “joints” on the drive from Trinidad, Colorado to Dalhart. Just one more legitimate reason why the Dalhart Police Department’s continuing commitment to arrest individuals who get caught with illegal drugs is an invaluable task.