2 men charged after drug dog noses out meth

‘Eyak,’ 3-year-old black Lab, located drugs in USPS packages

Eyak, a detection dog for the Cordova Police Department. Photo courtesy of the Cordova Police Department

Two men were arrested Thursday, Feb. 4 after “Eyak,” the Cordova Police Department’s detection dog, uncovered illicit drugs that had been mailed to Cordova.

Joshua Field, 38, and Michael Glasen, 44, both of Cordova, were both charged with misconduct involving a controlled substance in the second and third degrees, a class A felony and a class B felony respectively. A class A felony is punishable in Alaska by up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. A class B felony is punishable in Alaska by up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.

About 17 grams of a substance believed to be heroin and about 27 grams of a substance believed to be methamphetamine were seized during an operation carried out by Cordova police working in partnership with the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Anchorage Airport Interdiction Team, police officials announced. Eyak led the operation by identifying the packages containing drugs among a group of other U.S. Postal Service items.

An approximately 3-year-old black Labrador, Eyak joined the department in October 2019.

“Eyak’s a good dog,” said CPD Officer Cameron Hayden, who worked with Eyak in the operation. “He’s very personable, very happy, very energetic, very gentle.”

Detection dogs assist law enforcement with their powerful noses, which contain up to 300 million olfactory receptors, compared to about 6 million in humans, according to a study by James Walker, former director of the Florida State University Sensory Research Institute. Detection dogs can be trained to identify the scent of drugs, explosives, cash and even mobile phones.

“When we smell a pumpkin pie, we smell the nutmeg, we smell the pumpkin,” Hayden said. “If a dog smells pumpkin pie… they smell every component that went into that pie: the flour, the sugar, the nutmeg, the pumpkin. They smell the person who put that dough together in the pan. They smell everything.”

Glasen was released on a $5,000 cash bond posted Monday, Feb. 8. Pre-indictment hearings are scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 16 for both Fields and Glasen at the Alaska Courthouse in Cordova.