One arrested after dogs sniff cars at FHS

Law enforcement officers arrested a student for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia at Fairfield High School Thursday morning.

Tyler Christopher Palmer, 18, of Fairfield, was arrested. The arrest came after two dogs performed a routine sniff of vehicles in the school?s parking lots. Neither the Fairfield Police Department nor Jefferson County Sheriff?s Office have a dog, but the police department is in the process of acquiring one. That?s why canine units from the Henry County Sheriff?s Office and Keokuk County Sheriff?s Office were involved in Thursday?s operation.

Jefferson County Attorney Tim Dille said the operation was a routine check of vehicles and was not in response to a specific tip.

Dille said that officers do not need a search warrant to use dogs to search for drugs in a public parking lot. He said the air around a vehicle is not a protected item under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. If a dog smells an odor and alerts an officer, that gives an officer probable cause to perform a search, Dille said.