Sombra the drug-sniffing dog may be one of Colombia’s best weapons in their war on drugs and drug cartels. After Sombra successfully identified a shipment of cocaine allegedly being moved by the Urabeños, one of the country’s most powerful criminal organizations, she had to be moved for her safety and provided with a protective detail. Sombra is a dog with a price on her head.
Sombra, a 6-year-old German shepherd, has been attached to Colombia’s counter-narcotics police force since she was a puppy. As she grew, she became one of their most efficient and successful sniffers, earning her jobs working up and down the Atlantic coast where she was tasked with sniffing drugs in container and customs holding areas as well as random inspections of vessels docked in shipyards. She then earned a spot working the town of Turbo, which has been known as a launching point for shipments of drugs via speedboat, and at times, submarines.
Her work in Turbo has paid off for Colombia’s counter-narcotics police, as reported by BBC, since Sombra sniffed out 5.3 tons of cocaine there, and then another 4 tons that had been hidden among a shipment of car parts that were awaiting export. All told, her last run through Turbo netted a haul of 9.3 tons of cocaine. That seizure could have a street value of around $280 million if it hit the streets in the U.S., based on the estimated value of cocaine as per similar seizures, such as one recently reported by the New York Post. Since her career began, Sombra has been credited with sniffing busts that have led to the arrest of 245 people suspected of narcotics offenses.
As a result of Sombra’s keen nose, Colombian cartels are losing shipments everywhere she works it seems. As such, the head of the Urabeños cartel, Dairo Antonio Usuga also known as Otoniel, has placed a bounty on Sombra’s head of $200 million pesos, which is equivalent to about $70,000 USD. Usuga is already one of Colombia’s most wanted criminals, and BBC has stated that this is the customary way he is known to handle problems that negatively impact cartel business.
Sombra has been moved out of areas that are associated with Urabeños cartel activity, but she is still very much on the job. She is now working the international airport in Bogota, according to Breaking News Headlines. Sombra is working with her usual handler as well as a security detail to help make sure that she is safe wherever she goes.