K-9 Darwin winking
  • Name: Darwin
  • Specialty: Explosives Detection
  • Breed: Labrador Retriever
  • Color: White
  • Sex: Male
  • Weight: 60 pounds
  • Birthday: April 15, 2018 
  • Training: ATF National Canine Center, Front Royal, VA
  • Handler: Special Agent Canine Handler Kurt Bentley
  • Location: Chicago Field Division

K9 Darwin is an ATF Explosives Detection Canine assigned to the Chicago Field Division with Special Agent Canine Handler (SACH) Kurt Bentley. K-9 Darwin’s job is to find explosives, guns and ammunition. He started his training with the Puppies Behind Bars organization. 

For K-9 Darwin, explosive detection work runs in the family. ATF recruited Darwin, his brother Hank and three sisters, Lady, Piper and Shiloh at the same time. The siblings also graduated together August 9, 2019. Darwin is also assigned to the Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force and may be called upon to assist with investigations throughout the country. 

Recent Find

On July 6, 2020, the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force contacted SACH Bentley about a shooting in Markham, Illinois the previous day. Paramedics at the crime scene recovered a spent .223 shell casing under the victim. During an interview with one of the suspects, detectives learned that one of the suspect’s friends fled into a nearby forest preserve with a firearm. 

K-9 Darwin began searching along a local drainage system next to the crime scene. He then alerted SACH Bentley that he found a spent .223 shell casing near a section of tall overgrown grass.  

The evidence was given to local authorities to follow up on potential leads. SACH Bentley was notified by local detectives that the second casing was similar to the first one found under the victim. Both casings were scanned and uploaded to ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network for further analysis. 

Last Reviewed October 8, 2020