A Colombian cartel recently issued a bounty of nearly $70,000 for the life of a drug sniffing dog that has cost the group roughly 18,000 pounds of cocaine.
Police in Colombia say that over the past three years the 6-year-old German shepherd Sombra, meaning shadow, has helped arrest 245 suspected associates of The Urabeños, a cartel also known as the Gulf Clan that has their own guerrilla army. Sombra’s success with the country’s counter-narcotics unit prompted the cartel July 20 to offer 200 million pesos, or roughly $70,000, for the canine’s death or capture, reports CNN.
One newspaper in the country, El Espectador, said, “Sombra the German shepherd has become the terror of criminal organizations.” Sombra, who has been working in the city of Turbo, was relocated to El Dorado International Airport in Bogota for her own safety.
Officials consider the Gulf Clan the most powerful cartel operating in Colombia. (RELATED: Global Opium And Cocaine Production Has Never Been Higher)
“The fact they want to hurt Sombra and offer such a high reward for her capture or death shows the impact she’s had on their profits,” said a spokesman for Colombian police, according to NPR.
The World Drug Report, released June 26 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), reveals the global supply of cocaine is “hitting absolute record highs,” something officials largely attribute to historic production increases in Colombia in 2016. Roughly 92 percent of cocaine seized in the U.S. by the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2016 came from Colombia.
The substance is increasingly being linked to drug overdose deaths in the U.S. due to cartels and dealers cutting supplies with powerful synthetic opioids. Cocaine deaths spiked by 52 percent nationally between 2015 and 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, following many years of relatively stable numbers.
Officials estimate cocaine is now killing about 13,000 Americans each year, up from 6,700 in 2015.
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