K-9 detect odors of marijuana but no drugs found in sweep inside OHS, on parking lot

A K-9 sweep of Owensville High School conducted Oct. 30 by the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from Owensville police, the Maries County Sheriff’s Department and the Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group results in several “hits” on vehicles but no arrests, according Sheriff John Romanus.

“The dogs hit on a couple of cars in the parking lot and a couple of backpacks,” said Romanus. “There was enough (odor) to get their attention.”

Owensville City Marshal Robert Rickerd said the two dogs brought in for the search were provided by a LANEG officer and the Maries County Sheriff’s patrol. Windy conditions and a light mist falling that Monday morning may have also hampered the K-9, said Rickerd.

“The wind was causing some problems with the K-9s,” said Rickerd citing a report from OPD Det. Rob Green who was outside with the K-9 handler and dog from LANEG.

Romanus said the dogs did pick up on odors of marijuana during their sweep. “Somebody was probably smoking in the homes,” said Romanus.

Rickerd said 15 to 20 vehicles were checked and “five or six were searched with nothing found.”

Rickerd said the sweep at OHS came about at the request of the sheriff’s office.

“The Sheriff contacted me about a month ago to come up and do an operation on the lot,” said Rickerd. “He was able to get a couple of dogs and we were able to set up a time to do it.”

School administrators and the district’s superintendent were present during the search. Students were told to place their backpacks and purses in the hallway and remain in their classrooms during the search. K-9s also made sweeps of the lockers in each of the building’s hallways.

Rickerd told aldermen on Monday he was pleased with the new spirit of cooperation between the city, the sheriff’s department and LANEG. “We’re making some cases, serving some search warrants,” said Rickerd. “We’re making some relationships and getting everyone on the same page. We’re getting it done in Maries, Osage and Gasconade counties.”