Mercer County Prosecutor’s Detective Joe Angarone and his narcotics K-9, Bela, recently competed in the 2016 United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) National Scent Trials, held June 13-15 in Philadelphia, PA.
Angarone, an 18-year-veteran of the MCPO, and K-9 Bela placed seventh overall out of 38 teams from across the United States, scoring 196 out of 200. They placed fourth overall in room searches with a score of 99 out of 100.
The timed trials consisted of large room searches and exterior vehicle searches. There were three rooms with high and low hides, and five vehicles with two hides.
Angarone and K-9 Bela had to pass a regional scent trial in order to qualify for the nationals. They qualified in Coatesville, PA, in March 2016 where they placed second out of 42 teams.
Bela, a five-year-old Beligan Malinois, was purchased from Fontaine d’or Malinois in Ontario, Canada, when she was just three months old and Angarone, a scent detection K-9 trainer, began working with her immediately. Bela graduated from the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Training Academy at nine months old. Since then, Bela has been responsible for the seizure of more than $2 million in currency and more than $3 million in narcotics.