The Montana Highway Patrol is turning to some four-legged help in its effort to prevent drug trafficking on interstates 90 and 94.
The state has added six K-9 narcotics units and a seventh dog that is trained to detect explosives. Attorney General Tim Fox introduced the officers and their dogs at Riverfront Park in Billings on Thursday.
Trooper Shawn Fowler says the dogs were bred in Europe for the sole purpose of finding narcotics. They were trained in Big Timber in May and began working in mid-June. The young dogs are mostly German and Belgian shepherds.
Fox says drug trafficking is a growing problem in Montana, especially in and around the Bakken area. He says the dogs are already demonstrating their law-enforcement value.
The state used drug forfeiture and grant money to purchase and train the dogs.