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Four arrested on drug charges in Dickinson traffic stop

A Dickinson Police officer netted several arrests as a result of a routine traffic stop this past weekend. Officers searched the vehicle after a K-9 alerted to the presence of narcotics and discovered heroin, drug paraphernalia, scales and a stolen handgun. Lt. Mike Hanel details what occurred during that traffic stop.

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A K-9 is pictured. During a traffic stop on a vehicle Saturday in Dickinson, a K-9 detected the presence of narcotics. The search of the vehicle by a Dickinson Police officer revealed heroin and other evidence of a counterfeiting operation. (Dickinson Press File Photo)

A Dickinson Police officer arrested four individuals during a traffic stop Saturday after a K-9 search revealed the presence of heroin, drug paraphernalia, a stolen handgun and other evidence.

The driver, Roger Domini, 53, of Spokane, Wash., is being charged with conspiracy to commit possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine. The three passengers in the vehicle were Michael Odom, 34, of Everett, Wash.; Sharlina Aldrich, 32, of Worley, Idaho; and Stepney Morris, 39, of Jamestown, who are all charged with possession of heroin with intent to deliver and conspiracy to deliver heroin while in possession of a firearm. Odom and Aldrich were also arrested on suspicion of felony facilitation of counterfeiting and possession of a firearm by a felon.

At approximately 11:50 p.m. Saturday, a Dickinson Police officer conducted a stop on a vehicle from Washington for a traffic violation on the 400 block of 12th Street West. During the roadside interview, the officer said he immediately identified nervous behavior and differing travel stories by the four occupants.

“Our officers… are trained in drug interdiction, and what that involves is identifying certain driving patterns (and) driving behavior (such as) if the driver’s stories aren’t lining up,” Lt. Mike Hanel said. “All of those (indicators) start to develop reasonable suspicion for the officer and at that point, it can justify the deployment of the K-9 for a free air sniff.”

A Stark County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit was deployed and alerted officers to the presence of narcotics. Following a search of the vehicle, officers located heroin, drug paraphernalia, scales and a stolen handgun from Washington. The search also revealed evidence of a counterfeiting operation, which included blank checks and a printer, a Dickinson Police Department press release stated.

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“Their intentions were that they were passing through North Dakota en route to the Twin Cities area,” Hanel said.

With a “great department coordination" with the Stark County Sheriff's Office and the Dickinson Police Department, Hanel noted that this arrest was notable.

“... The nature of it was just a traffic violation, (and that’s) how it began. This officer was very alert and fell back on interdiction training and was able to identify inconsistencies in their travel stories,” Hanel said, “and ultimately resulting in a pretty significant arrest to include a stolen firearm. So it was definitely a good job done by this officer.”

Aldrich, Morris and Odom also had active arrest warrants from the state of Washington. All four remain in custody at the Southwest Multi-County Correctional Center and await preliminary hearings March 8.

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A seized firearm and bullets are pictured. The stolen handgun was discovered by a Dickinson Police officer Saturday during a traffic stop on a vehicle from Washington. The officer detected suspicious behavior from the four individuals in the vehicle and a K-9 unit from the Stark County Sheriff's Office was deployed, locating heroin, drug paraphernalia, scales and a stolen handgun. (Photo courtesy of Dickinson Police Department)

Jackie Jahfetson is a former reporter for The Dickinson Press.
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