The Rhode Island State Police are mourning the loss of K-9 Axel, a former partner to Detective Lt. Matthew Moynihan.
K-9 Axel, who was 14 years old, began his service with the state police in 2002 and retired in 2010. He was trained in patrol apprehension and narcotics detection, and was assigned to both the Patrol and Detective Bureaus.
In addition to his service to the Rhode Island State Police, K-9 Axel was frequently called upon by municipal police departments to track suspects and/or detect narcotics. After three years, he suffered an injury, which required the surgical removal of a portion of his hip bone to alleviate discomfort. He quickly returned to service, and was assigned to the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force within the Detective Bureau of the state police.
During his time there, K-9 Axel had many noteworthy felony apprehensions and was instrumental in the detection of hundreds of pounds of illicit narcotics and United States currency derived from the illegal proceeds of narcotic trafficking. He contributed to numerous narcotic seizures shipped through the United States Postal Service as well as other global courier services.
In 2009, K-9 Axel detected the odor of narcotics coming from within the inside of a tractor trailer from Laredo, Texas. As a result, 1,500 pounds of marijuana was located and seized. The estimated street value at the time of the seizure was approximately $2 million. This remains the largest single seizure of marijuana seized in the history of the state police.
K-9 Axel also frequently visited elementary schools within the state of Rhode Island and entertained children with his detection abilities. Upon his retirement, K-9 Axel lived with his assigned handler, Moynihan, along with Moynihan's family.