Yavapai County Sheriff’s newest K9 ‘Haddie’ is being credited for finding about a pound of meth during a traffic stop Monday night, Jan. 14.
At about 7:30 p.m. a K9 deputy spotted a suspicious vehicle described as a red Dodge Neon with New Mexico plates exiting Interstate 17 into the Cordes Lakes area, according to a Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) news release. The vehicle was seen failing to stop as required at the stop-signed intersection of Copperstar Road.
Before the deputy activated his emergency lights, the driver suddenly stopped his vehicle, jumped out and approached the patrol vehicle. The deputy suspected the driver was under the influence, YCSO reported. The driver was later identified as 44-year-old Todd Worthen, a transient from New Mexico.
Worthen remained extremely nervous during the traffic stop and the K9 deputy suspected Worthen was trafficking drugs, YCSO reported. Worthen was unable to produce a driver’s license, and the New Mexico identification information he verbally provided using the first name Toby with a birth date did not produce a record in New Mexico. Instead, the deputy found a driving record in Arizona for a Todd Worthen with a revoked license.
“It was obvious that Worthen offered a false date of birth and first name to the deputy to avoid confirming his identity,” YCSO spokesperson Dwight D’Evelyn said.
Worthen continued to claim his first name was Toby with a different date of birth and said the car belonged to his brother. Based on the license status, Worthen was told he was under arrest and initially resisted handcuffing, but was eventually secured in the patrol vehicle, YCSO reported.
The deputy asked for consent to search the vehicle and Worthen declined. An assisting K9 deputy deployed his certified K9 partner, Haddie, and during an exterior sniff of the vehicle Haddie alerted to the odor of drugs in the car. A search of the car revealed a backpack that contained about one pound of methamphetamine and an Arizona driver’s license for Todd Worthen.
Worthen was booked into the Yavapai County jail on charges including transportation of dangerous drugs for sale (methamphetamine), possession of dangerous drugs for sale (methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia (methamphetamine), and taking the identity of another (Toby Worthen).
“The K9 team would like to mention that Haddie came from our friends at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and was paid for by a generous anonymous donation to the K9 program,” D’Evelyn said. “Haddie and her handler just certified as a team with the National Police Canine Association (NPCA) in December.”
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov.