- Name: Jax
- Specialty: Explosives Detection
- Breed: Labrador Retriever
- Color: Black
- Sex: Male
- Weight: 70 pounds
- Birthday: October 28, 2010
- Training: ATF National Canine Center, Front Royal, VA
- Handler: Special Agent Canine Handler Jason Salerno
- Location: Detroit Field Division
K-9 Jax was originally bred as a Guide dog by the Guiding Eyes for The Blind organization, but was selected by ATF to become an Explosives Detection Canine (EDC). He completed a 16-week program April 2013 at the ATF National Canine Center in Front Royal, Va. K-9 Jax is trained to alert on the latest homemade, military and commercial explosive threats to include, firearms and ammunition. Jax is extremely motivated when it comes to working.
K-9 Jax started working in the Detroit Field Division July 2013, and has since then recovered firearms, shell casings involved in shootings; high explosives, and has supported numerous investigations and operations. He also supports various ATF initiatives, such as the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership.
The ATF EDC team has supported NASCAR, the Detroit Tigers 2013 ALCS, the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Marathon, and the North American International Auto Show. K-9 Jax lives with his family in Michigan, but travels and works throughout the United States in support of ATF’s mission.
Earlier this year, a man was shot multiple times and killed. His body was placed in the trunk of a vehicle and dumped a short distance away from where the shooting took place. The building where the crime took place was burned to hide the evidence. No casings at the scene were recovered.
The Detroit Police Department Homicide Unit requested assistance from ATF Special Agent Canine Handler/Certified Explosives Specialist (SACH/CES) Jason Salerno and K-9 Jax to conduct a search for possible evidence. Agent Salerno examined the scene noticing that there was still a significant amount of snow and ice on the ground from the water used to battle the fire. He walked the area to be searched to form pockets in the snow for odor to be released, and then deployed EDC Jax. About three feet from the street curb, Jax showed a change in behavior and started to paw at the snow. Salerno looked at the area that Jax was pawing, and saw what he believed to be an ammunition casing. Salerno examined the item and identified it as a 9mm ammunition casing, which was not weathered. No other items of evidence were recovered by EDC Jax.
Another call came for SACH/CES Salerno and K-9 Jax to assist the local police department with a homicide search warrant. During the search, Jax alerted on a fireplace where a handgun had been recovered a year and a half earlier.
SACH/CES Salerno and K-9 Jax , while working with ATF’s Flint Field Office, responded to a "shots fired" call that came over the radio. K-9 Jax recovered two different caliber casings at the scene. ATF agents were able to locate the vehicle involved in the shooting and recovered two handguns, which matched the caliber casings recovered by Jax.
ATF’s EDC team supported ATF’s Special Response Team (SRT) during the execution of a federal search warrant where the SRT was fired upon while making entry. SACH Salerno and K-9 Jax recovered the firearm used in the shooting, which the suspect had hidden, along with the shell casings that had rolled under a bathroom cabinet. The ATF EDC team also assisted in a federal search warrant where explosives had been reported, which led to the recovery of a short barrel shotgun, firearms, ammunition, and high explosives at the residence.