Dog News, Obituaries

Legendary CDCR K‑9 Drako passes away

Drako and Sergeant Brian Pyle.
Sergeant Brian Pyle and Drako demonstrate contraband-sniffing skills during Take Your Kids to Work Day at CSP-Solano in 2015. Pyle passed away in 2017 and Drako passed away in 2021.

CDCR and CCHCS staff are mourning the loss of K-9 contraband-detection legend Drako, who passed away on October 14, 2021.

Drako was a 6-year-old Malinois when he became a CDCR K-9 in 2009, assigned to Correctional Sergeant Brian Pyle. The K-9 was the first in the state cross-trained to find contraband cellphones as well as narcotics.

Well-known for operations with other law enforcement agencies, institutions, and conservation camps, Drako was also featured in regional and national news programs.

In their first five years, the two discovered over 1,000 cell phones, 543 pounds of tobacco, 21 pounds of marijuana, 1.25 pounds of methamphetamine and 5.5 ounces of heroin.

Drako has discovered cellphones 10 feet above his head, wrapped in cellophane and concealed in a peanut butter jar. His extraordinary achievements even earned him an appearance on the Larry King Show.

When Pyle passed away in September 2017, Drako retired, living out his remaining years with the Pyle family.

“Our deepest condolences are extended to the CDCR K-9 program and the Pyle family as they mourn the loss of Drako,” reported California Medical Facility, describing him as “legendary.”

The contributions of Pyle and Drako were recognized in a 2017 Inside CDCR story.

Learn more about CDCR’s K-9 program.

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