SAN ANTONIO -

The newest member of the staff at Northside ISD may walk on four legs, and may only have one name -- "Alice" -- but she's very important.

Alice is only 50 pounds, but she has a trained nose that can pick up drugs fast.

Her handler, Officer Stephen Regules said they visit four schools a day. He believes their presence and her keen sense of smell forces students to make smarter decisions.

"I think they're taking a second guess whether to bring drugs or that chance of getting caught with Alice," said Regules.

In fact, Alice is getting some credit for discovering a stash of illegal drugs in 24-year-old Christopher Martinez's abandoned car.

Police said Martinez (pictured below) kept calling them asking to get his car back after it was impounded. That sent up a red flag to police officers that something may have been inside.

"She hits on the passenger side of the door, so we went inside the vehicle (and) she located the narcotics on the front seat and in the back of the vehicle," said Regules.

Martinez's car was impounded after he abandoned it following a police chase. The officer eventually lost sight of Martinez and he got away.

According to a police affidavit, Alice was used to search the car. She found six bags of a substance that tested positive for cocaine.

Investigators said they also found an AK-47 rifle, ammunition and an 8-inch hunting knife inside the vehicle.

Martinez left his driver's license, police said, which led investigators to him.

Regules said Alice has only been with the department since July, but she's definitely earned her place among the ranks. She's already found drugs in various schools across the district.

"(Drugs have been found inside) lockers, vehicles, and sometimes just on the floor in bathroom," he said. "I think when they notice we're coming to the school, they try to get rid of it."

Alice and her handler will mostly be visiting middle and high schools, but they'll also go to elementary schools to teach students there how to stay safe and drug-free.

Martinez was charged with manufacturing/delivering a controlled substance and evading arrest.

Christopher Martinez

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