Twin Lakes Police Department’s K9 unit, Rex, has already helped the law enforcement make an arrest, and bolster community bonds, according to Chief Adam Grosz. Rex was purchased through private donations by the community and made his arrival to the department last October (Jason Arndt/The Report).

Village resident charged with meth possession

By Jason Arndt

Since K9 Rex joined the Twin Lakes Police Department last October, courtesy of community contributions, the K9 has been on a mission to detect drugs.

One mission happened Jan. 7, when Rex and his handler discovered a 38-year-old village resident driving a GMC truck with a suspended license in the 300 block of Burden Avenue, where the duo made a traffic stop shortly after 5 p.m.

The stop led to the arrest of Louis Smith, who appeared at a Jan. 9 initial hearing on charges of possessing a methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, along with two felony bail jumping counts.

Smith, according to online court records, waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Kenosha County Court Commissioner David R. Berman, who found probable cause a felony was committed and bound him over for trail.

Smith, who is out on a $1,000 cash bond, is scheduled to appear for a Feb. 19 arraignment.

During the Jan. 7 traffic stop, the complaint contends Rex’s handler observed the canine walk along the driver’s side of the GMC truck, where he saw him sniff the side door seam with a notable increase in respirations.

The canine then jumped up without prompting, took a deep breath from the half-open driver’s side window, and eventually alerted his handler of a possible controlled substance in the vehicle, the complaint alleges.

When Smith was questioned by his handler, he allegedly told the officer “there might be ‘a little weed’ in there (the GMC), but other than that there was nothing,” the complaint states.

Through further investigation, the officer found drug paraphernalia, including two “L” shaped glass pipes with small globes at the end. The pipes, according to complaint, contained heavy white residue consistent with methamphetamine use.

Additionally, the complaint alleges there was a plastic orange with a twist-on cap, and inside, there were small crystal pieces.

Along with drug paraphernalia, Smith allegedly had credit card receipts, which allegedly showed purchases he made from a smoke shop in McHenry, Ill. three days earlier, according the complaint.

Eventually, the investigation revealed a positive test for methamphetamine, the complaint alleges.

Smith, who was already out on signature bond from charges filed last October, had his cash bond extended at the Jan. 16 preliminary hearing, contingent on meeting court-ordered guidelines.

Guidelines include no possession of alcohol or illegal drugs and refrain from contacting any witnesses involved in the Jan. 7 arrest.

In October, Smith was charged with possession of methamphetamine, in addition to two misdemeanor drug charges.

Rex shows effectiveness
Meanwhile, according to Twin Lakes Police Chief Adam Grosz, his department has already seen the benefits of having Rex work alongside his handler, patrol officer Joe Patla.

“They are still getting accustomed to working together but so far the Canine program has been very successful,” Grosz said. “Rex is is out meeting citizens on a daily basis when he is at work and the community support has been overwhelming.”

The overwhelming support started in the middle of last year, when Patla lobbied for a K9 unit before the Twin Lakes Village Board, where village officials learned of a growing drug epidemic with in the municipality and throughout Kenosha County.

The epidemic includes overdose deaths, which reached its peak during the middle of last summer, when five people died in the village.

By October, Rex arrived, and has shown a proven track record.

“Rex has already aided in discovering different types of illegal narcotics and has proven that he will be a great asset to our agency and the community,” Grosz said.


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