$70,000 bounty issued on drug-sniffing dog in Colombia

'Sombra' has led to capture of at least 245 people

By GIANLUCA MEZZOFIORE, CNN
PoliciaAntiNar/Twitter via CNN

Sombra the drug-sniffing police dog is famous in Colombia.

(CNN) - Her talent for sniffing out drugs has led to the capture of at least 245 people and the seizure of 9 tons of cocaine from the powerful Urabeños gang in Colombia.

But now Sombra (Shadow, in English), a 6-year-old German shepherd who is incredibly popular among children and adults alike, is in danger.

The Urabeños mafia has put a bounty of 200 million pesos ($70,000) on her head, according to Colombian police, so the dog had to be moved to Bogota's El Dorado airport over fears for her safety.

Along with her usual handler, Jose Rojas, Sombra is now escorted by other officers to keep an eye on her, police said.

Over the past three years, Sombra has become "the torment of Otoniel, seizing 9 tons of cocaine," anti-narcotics police said in a tweet.

Dairo Antonio Úsuga, alias "Otoniel," is the head of the Urabeños, one of Colombia's most powerful criminal groups and one of the country's most wanted men.

"Our German shepherd, Sombra, has participated in almost 300 operations," Col. Tito Castellanos, the deputy director for the anti-narcotics police, told Colombian news agency RCN.

She has already won two K-9 Medals of Courage for her valor and might get a third one this year, he said.

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