Coke and dogs in 4th grade science project

Jan. 29, 2013 at 1:27 PM
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CORAL GABLES, Fla., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A Florida fourth grader's science project involved nearly an ounce of cocaine, three drug-sniffing dogs and the cooperation of police.

Emma Bartelt, 10, was the mastermind behind the "Drug Sniffing Dogs" science project, which won first place at the Coral Gables Preparatory Academy science fair and an honorable mention Saturday at the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Elementary Science Fair at Miami Dade College, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

"The purpose for this scientific investigation was to find which dog would find the cocaine fastest using its sense of smell," Emma wrote in the abstract for the experiment.

Emma received assistance from the Miami-Dade Police Narcotics Bureau, which supplied the cocaine and the dogs under the supervision of her father, Detective Douglas Bartelt, as well as Detective William Pedraja and Sgt. Samantha Machado.

"It was kinda my idea, because I wanted to do my dad's job," Emma said.

Michelle Bartelt, the girl's mother, said the experiment was conducted at police facilities and her daughter did not come into contact with the cocaine.

"He handled the drugs," she said of her husband. "He's always very meticulous about how he handles drugs."

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