Tri-Net busts through middle school – for Career Day | NevadaAppeal.com
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Tri-Net busts through middle school – for Career Day

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Albert Reed, 13, models some of the TRI-NET drug task force's gear during career day at Eagle Valley Middle School on Friday.
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Albert Reed was dressed a little differently Friday morning at Eagle Valley Middle School.

Officers from the Tri-Net drug task force team had put about 45 pounds of equipment on the 13-year-old’s frame: a bullet-proof vest, a face mask, a Kevlar helmet, goggles and a holster with handcuffs, pepper spray, extra ammunition and keys.

“You get a little tired wearing this stuff,” said the officer named Mitch, who along with two other Tri-Net members Marty and Dave were describing their jobs for Career Day. “You get a little worn out.”

They also gave Albert a bullet-proof shield to hold and a battering ram called “the master key,” that gains entry through nearly any door.

“When I was holding the battering ram, I kind of felt like I was going to fall down,” Albert said afterward.

Usually, when Tri-Net officers knock on a door, they wait about 15 seconds for a response before busting in.

“We don’t want to give (people) an opportunity to arm themselves,” Marty said.

Career Day is an annual event at Eagle Valley Middle School for eighth-graders just weeks before they sign up for classes at Carson High School.

“It gives them a chance to hear what people might do in a typical career,” eighth-grade teacher Cathy Barbie said.

On Friday, they heard from a dentist, a wilderness guide, an archaeologist, a chef, a physician, a victims’ advocate and writer, an attorney, a veterinarian, a college professor, a real estate agent and many more.

“I think (Career Day) is fun as far as seeing what everybody does and how they help the community,” said Luis Aguilar, 14, who wants to be a professional soccer player.

Tri-Net, which is a drug task force team with members from sheriff’s offices in Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties and the Drug Enforcement Agency, conducts many undercover investigations.

“We’ve got to get in there and buy the drugs from people and then we build the case,” Mitch said.

A lot of that job involves taking safety precautions because “where there are drugs, there are guns 90 percent of the time,” he said.

The team also showed students some of their guns – a .40-caliber hand gun, a .223-caliber assault weapon and a 12-gauge shotgun.

“Can we hold those?” one of the students asked.

Absolutely not.

Also visiting from the Tri-Net team was Kety, an 8-year-old German shepherd, who is trained to sniff out heroin, marijuana, opium, cocaine and methamphetamine. She’s been with her Tri-Net handler for six years.

Kety demonstrated her talent for sniffing when her handler sent her searching into a corner of the cafeteria where a black bag was.

Soon she was hopping all over the bag, and her tail was wagging and she was barking. Finally, she sat down, a signal she had discovered drugs, and her handler rewarded her with her red plastic toy.

“It was cool looking at all their stuff and what the dog did,” Luis said.

— Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.