Recent K9 Actions involving large Seizure of Marijuana Loads

On January 7, 2021, around 9:15 AM, a YCSO K9 Unit conducted a moving violation traffic stop on east I40 near Ash Fork, Arizona. During contact with the driver, 50-year-old Phatsavong Rasasy from Alabama, the deputy could detect an odor of marijuana from the interior of his red Toyota Highlander. Rasasy was extremely nervous and deceptive in his answers while conversing with the deputy and initially denied there was any marijuana in the vehicle. A short time later, he stated there was actually a small amount of marijuana, some of which he smoked earlier. Based on a reasonable suspicion that Rasasy was involved in illicit drug activity, and following his refusal to allow a search, the deputy deployed his certified K9 partner Haddie for an exterior sniff around the vehicle. Following Haddie’s alert to the odor of drugs, a search was conducted.

Inside a duffel bag in the back of the vehicle, the deputy found 22 pounds of marijuana and an additional 20 pounds under a blanket in the back seat. Rasasy now admitted transporting marijuana from Northern California to an eastern state and had been paid several thousand dollars.

Rasasy was arrested and booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including Transportation of marijuana for sale, Possession/use of marijuana for sale, Possession/use of marijuana and Possession/use of drug paraphernalia. He remains in-custody on a $15,000 bond.

On December 30, 2020, at approximately 2:30 PM, a YCSO K9 deputy conducted a traffic stop on east I40 near Ash Fork, Arizona, for a moving violation. The driver, 34-year-old Samson Budagyan from California, was contacted and the deputy could immediately detect the odor of raw marijuana from the interior of his black Nissan Altima. Budagyan was deceptive in answering the deputy’s questions in an apparent attempt to conceal his illicit actions. The deputy noted several wrapped Christmas gifts in the vehicle which Budagyan claimed were for his kids.

When Budagyan was asked for a consent to search, he denied the request.  As a result, the deputy deployed his certified K9 partner Maximus for an exterior sniff around the vehicle and observed Maximus alert to the odor of drugs. During a search inside the Nissan, deputies found several vacuum sealed packages of marijuana concealed in boxes wrapped with Christmas paper, along with three suitcases in the trunk area also containing marijuana. A total of 95 lbs of marijuana was seized.

Budagyan refused to answer further questions and was booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including Transportation of marijuana for sale, Possession of marijuana for sale and Possession of drug paraphernalia. He has since been released on posted bond of $40,000.

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