Canine noses pinpoint 40 with drugs at music festival

POLICE dogs sniffed out 40 people carrying illegal substances during a drug-search operation at the Big Pineapple Music Festival.

Sunshine Coast Tactical Crime Squad officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Troy Pukallus said they were caught during searches of people entering the event, and when the dogs were put to work.

"We passively searched about 1000 persons, resulting in 40 detections and the arrest of 15 persons on 15 drug charges," he said.

Snr Sgt Pukallus said about half the arrests were for possession of MDMA (ecstacy tablets).

Those arrested were carrying varying amounts.

"We're still only alleging personal use," Snr Sgt Pukallus said.

The dogs followed their sensitive noses for two hours while 30 police officers gave their canine colleagues back-up.

"The deployment of the drug detection dogs was one of the strategies that we use to address any drug-related anti-social behaviour at large public events," Snr Sgt Pukallus said.

He said apart from a handful of drunken arrests, most festival-goers were on their best behaviour.

"The overall behaviour of patrons at the event was good."