Ohio gets K-9 trained to sniff out electronic devices
COLUMBUS (WSYX/WTTE) —
He's being called a 'game changer' in the fight against child pornography.
Friday Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine helped introduce 'Reptar.'
He's the Bureau of Criminal Investigation's newest agent. The K-9 sniffs out electronic devices.
Special Agent Josh Rammel is Reptar's handler.
"He's like a narcotics dog. He's trained on a specific scent," Rammel said. "All electronic devices that store information have a chemical that's on it."
Reptar is one of only 50 dogs in the world trained to sniff out hidden electronic devices.
His special skill is being used to look for evidence in child pornography investigations. Reptar can locate devices like thumb drives, cell phones, s-d cards and ipads.
He can track the faintest odor even when a suspect is trying to hide the device.
Rammel explains Reptar was used in a recent case that without him - agents would have never found the evidence.
"We took everything out of the drawer he hit on. And we still couldn't find anything. Then we pried open the bottom drawer. There was some space. There was a false bottom and we found the SD card in there, " said Rammel.
"He was able to find that. Nobody would have ever found that. We would have thought nothing was in there."
Reptar is a 2-year-old lab and can be used by any law enforcement agency in Ohio, upon request.
While Reptar will be used in child pornography cases, DeWine says Reptar can be used to assist in other cases too. The cost to purchase and train Reptar was $11,000 which was covered by two grants awarded to the Ohio Attorney General's office.
Law Enforcement wanting Reptar's assistance can call 855-BCI-OHIO.