Squatter Or Drug Dealer?

RENO, NV - The All Threats All Crimes Unit or ATAC made a unique arrest on Wednesday just down the street from KOLO 8 studios. The Unit consists of Washoe County Sheriff personnel as well as Nevada’s Department of Public Safety. The man had been parked on Joule Street for quite some time. Some businesses in the area thought he was a squatter. A Secret Witness tip told law enforcement otherwise.

Members of the ATAC unit were out on Joule Street for hours on Wednesday.

Their main focus was an R.V. parked more on than off for about three years.

The owner 60 year old James Mueller was detained on the grass just outside the R.V.

Investigators say a tip into Secret Witness led them to this area with their K-9 units earlier in the day.

“We deploy our dogs like there are not any drugs on any cars. We deploy them the same every time and in this instance our dog gave us a noticeable change in behavior--a positive alert to the odor of narcotics coming from the motor home,” says Deputy Corey Solferino with Northern Nevada Interdiction Task Force.

Investigators say they asked Mueller if they could search the R-V.

They say he declined.

That's when law enforcement obtained a search warrant.

Inside they say they found Marijuana, Meth, and Oxycodone, as well as scales, they say indicate Mueller was selling drugs from the vehicle.

“There is a school nearby, it’s basically out in the public, anybody can get to it, anybody could walk to it. But we do know he won't be selling from there any more,” says Deputy Armando Avina

ATAC says it is most proud of the newest edition to the Sheriff's Canine Unit.

Roughly just two years old and less than four months on the job, Cezar, a Czech Shepherd detected the drugs--his first on the force.

His co-worker Gunner showed us what he and the other dogs do to alert his human partner.

Illegal drugs were purposely placed inside the fuel door of a car for a demonstration.

Gunner seeks, and simply sits to tell his handler he's found something

His reward: Praise and play.

Mueller’s bail is set at $30,000.


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