February 1, 2008
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At 2:30 a.m. Thursday night two Florida Department of Corrections (DC) sergeants and Rocky the bloodhound from DeSoto Correctional Institution in Arcadia captured three suspects alleged to be transporting drugs in their car. The DeSoto C.I. K-9 unit was called to assist the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office in tracking the suspects when they fled from their vehicle after being stopped by Sheriff’s deputies. The deputies had been tipped that the vehicle was transporting drugs. Rocky picked up their scent from the abandoned vehicle.
DeSoto C.I. Sergeants David W. Pitts, a 17-year DC veteran, Anthony Rowan, a 14-year veteran, and bloodhound Rocky, a seven-year veteran, chased the suspects in the dark for approximately three and a half miles through woods, an orange grove and a pasture before Rocky indicated they were close.
“When the dogs get close they get excited and start bouncing. After you’ve worked with them a while, you know how to read them,” said Pitts, who has worked on the K-9 unit for 14 years.
Scanning the area with their flashlights, Pitts and Rowan discovered suspects Ismael Cavillo, Manuel Cisneros and Paulos Amogne, all clothed in black, lying face down in the tall grass of the pasture. They handcuffed and searched them, walked them out of the woods and turned them over to the Sheriff’s deputies.
“This is a prime example of Department Correctional Officers ready at all times of day and night to put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public,” said Department of Corrections Secretary James R. McDonough.
The DeSoto CI K-9 team, which consists of six bloodhounds, is on call 24 hours a day. They assist not only nearby prisons, but also local law enforcement when they have missing children or Alzheimer’s patients who wander away. In addition, they assist game wardens who are searching for poachers and state troopers when a stopped driver jumps out of their vehicle and runs.
A bag of marijuana was found near the vehicle and the suspects are being held pending charges, according to the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office.