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Dog teams swarm 2 Northern California prisons

8:16 PM, Mar 7, 2012   |    comments
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TRACY, CA - More than two dozen dogs and their handlers from around the state swept through two Northern California prisons Wednesday, searching for drugs and cell phones.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation statewide canine coordinator Sgt. Wayne Conrad said the prison sweeps coincided with a routine gathering of dog teams at the training academy in Galt.

"Headquarters wanted to seize on the opportunity of having all of the dogs in one place," Conrad explained.

Fourteen dogs swarmed two cellblocks at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy and an equal number swept through the Sierra Conservation Center in Tracy.

Conrad said a major objective of the canine program is to prevent inmates from making unmonitored phone calls on cell phones smuggled into the prisons.

Deuel spokesman Lt. George Paul said the dog teams found two cell phones and narcotics during the two-hour operation.

Conrad said prison dogs have discovered more than 2,200 cell phones since the canine program began two years ago.

By George Warren, GWarren@news10.net

News10/KXTV

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