- The Washington Times - Friday, May 9, 2003

Commissioner Robert C. Bonner, head of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, yesterday endorsed the nomination of one of his most loyal employees for international recognition on his longtime government service.He promises to give the employee a little treat and rub his nose if he wins.With more than $11 million in drug seizures in the past five years, Mr. Bonner believes Crazy Joe has earned the title as one of the bureau’s “Top Dogs,” and should be a favorite for the Paws to Recognize, an award given as a part of an international program that honors the contributions of professional service dogs.Crazy Joe is a male yellow Labrador retriever who began his law enforcement career in 1998 with the U.S. Customs Service, which has since merged into the Department of Homeland Security as the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP).”The CBP canine enforcement program is aimed at combating terrorism and enforcing our nation’s laws. Joe is an integral part of our team,” Mr. Bonner said. “He might be named Crazy, but he’s crazy like a fox.”Mr. Bonner said the dog was selected not only because of his numerous narcotics seizures and contributions to the education of children, but because he, like many of CBP canines, came to the agency from an animal shelter.He said Crazy Joe began his law enforcement career at Washington Dulles International Airport, with his partner, Canine Enforcement Officer David Snyder.Crazy Joe was credited with sniffing out 17 pounds of marijuana hidden in a cardboard box with cellophane and black pepper; 531 grams of crack cocaine and 54 grams of marijuana inside a closet wall at a private residence; and 683 grams of crack cocaine and 199 grams of marijuana hidden in two vehicles.In March 2001, Crazy Joe returned to the Canine Enforcement Training Center in Front Royal, Va., and was the focus of attention by holding the position of “demo” dog. He participated in numerous demonstrations throughout Washington and Virginia, spreading the message to schoolchildren about the dangers of narcotics.In January 2002, after completing his tour of duty at the training center, he was assigned to Canine Enforcement Officer Cindy Grob, and the pair was sent to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.Mr. Bonner said Officer Grob and Crazy Joe have since made numerous narcotic seizures, including 2,854 grams of cocaine concealed in a false-bottom suitcase that resulted in five arrests; 1,054 grams of cocaine in the belly of an aircraft; 1,790.1 grams of heroin in a false-bottom suitcase, leading to the discovery of a passenger who swallowed 76 pellets of heroin; and two suitcases containing coat jackets lined with 1,238 grams of heroin.The commissioner said Crazy Joe’s most recent seizure was 17 pounds of cocaine found in a false-bottom suitcase, which also contained three cheese cans of cocaine.”The smugglers have attempted to conceal the odor of the smuggled narcotics from Crazy Joe, but even through the odor of hot peppers, mothballs, duct tape, molasses, cellophane and black pepper, Crazy Joe has proven he is definitely ‘top dog’ when it comes to discovering narcotics,” Mr. Bonner said.Crazy Joe is among six dogs nominated for the award, which will be given this summer during ceremonies in Washington, in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States.The other nominees are Roselle, a Labrador retriever who helped guide her blind partner to safety from the 78th floor of the World Trade Center on September 11; Jake, a Labrador retriever who helped search the World Trade Center for survivors; Remington, a Labrador retriever who helps U.S. Capitol Police search for explosives; Zorra, a mixed-breed dog who helps therapy patients at a Virginia hospital; and Peekaboo, a papillon who, as an assistance animal, helped her owner pursue a career.

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