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Denting drug trafficking: Nobles County deputy, K-9 receive regional, national awards

Nobles County Deputy Michael Schei (left) receives awards from Sheriff Kent Wilkening (right) that he and his K-9 partner, Boriz, earned from the United States Police Canine Association. (Alyssa Sobotka / The Globe) 1 / 2
Nobles County Deputy Michael Schei and his K-9 partner, Boriz, work the night shift and have had great success in catching drug traffickers. (Alyssa Sobotka / The Globe)2 / 2

WORTHINGTON — A Nobles County deputy and his K-9 partner have been making a significant dent in the drug trafficking scene since the fall of 2017.

Deputy Michael Schei and K-9 partner, Boriz, have received regional and national awards for their work in intercepting drug traffickers. The duo received the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) Region 12 Fourth Quarter Detector Case of the Quarter and 2017 Detector Case of the Year. Region 12 represents more than 120 agencies in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Manitoba, Canada.

The duo also earned the Fourth Quarter National Detector Case of the Quarter.

Nobles County Sheriff Kent Wilkening said Deputy Schei and Boriz are doing a fine job for the county, and that he’s proud of the work they’ve accomplished and the dedication they’ve shown through continuous training.

“It’s good to see these drugs taken off the street before they get into the users’ hands,” Wilkening said.  

The traffic stop in question that was deemed award-worthy occurred in November 2017 — the duo’s first-ever significant drug bust. Schei and Boriz located approximately 20 pounds of methamphetamine in a rental vehicle traveling on Interstate 90 through Nobles County.  Two California individuals, Jon Guess and Felicia Massey, were arrested and charged in Nobles County District Court.

Depending on the quantity that could have been sold, Buffalo Ridge Task Force Commander Nate Grimmius estimated the street value for 20 pounds of methamphetamine to be estimated at $160,000 if sold by the pound or more than $385,000 if sold by ounces.

As of mid-February, the charges had been dismissed in Nobles County District Court. The cases were turned over to be prosecuted federally.

Schei, who has been training almost daily with Boriz since late 2016, said he’s appreciative of the recent recognition for the bust that will always resonate with him.

“After all the hard work and training, it’s nice to have it pay off with a successful traffic stop,” he said, adding gratitude to all the partners that assisted him throughout the traffic stop and investigation.

The memorable traffic stop is not the only event for which the duo has received recognition. One year ago, Schei and Boriz won a trophy for the Best Rookie Handler and Best Rookie K-9 at the USPCA Narcotics Detection Dog Trials.

Boriz — the sheriff office’s only K-9 — is a nearly 4-year-old dual-purpose Belgian Malinois. He is trained and certified in narcotics, suspect apprehension, handler protection, tracking and searches.

To learn more about this duo, check out the March 24 edition.