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Police Recruit Another Canine Who Sniffs Out USB Drives

A young black Labrador is the police’s latest recruit to a new, highly specialized form of investigation. The puppy, named URL, is trained to sniff out electronic devices during police searches. URL hunts down USB drives by the scent of chemical compounds emitted by the device.

Another black Labrador named Bear – one of only nine dogs certified to sniff out USB drives –helped the arrest of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle on child-porn charges. The police, when searching Fogle’s house, failed to find the incriminating storage device. Bear was brought in and almost immediately found the drive that led to Fogle’s conviction.

Both URL and Bear were trained by the same person.

Bear was also part of the case against former gymnastics coach Marvin Sharp, charged with child molestation. According to Bear’s trainer Todd Jordan, the dog found several SD cards hidden inside a gun safe. “And you know how airtight those safes are,” Jordan said. “It goes to show how sensitive their noses really are.”

After being fully trained by Jordan, URL was sold to the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force. According to the Weber County Sheriff’s Office, URL is the only ED K9 in the western United States.

The new owner of URL, Det. Cameron Hartman, says that the department paid more than $10,000 to recruit the dog. Hartman and his new companion are part of Utah’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The detective confirmed that URL has already proven himself useful in several child-porn investigations.

“If there’s an investigator that has a belief that there might be evidence concealed on an electronic storage device, then that’s where (URL) would come in,” Hartman explained.

“He actually found a USB that was in this jar that was closed, and the jar was in a box, and the box had stuff in it. The jar itself had stuff in it.”

 

These dogs take months to be field-ready. At Jordan Detection K9 in Indiana, the electronic detection dogs require six months of intense training. “The only time a dog eats is when he works,” explained Jordan. The dogs train for three hours a day, every day.

Despite lengthy training periods and high prices, police departments are lining up for their own ED dog. “I’ve had several people call. I have, like, 16 departments pursuing this. It just depends on who gets the money,” said Jordan. The trainer has two more dogs ready to join police departments.

Hartman is hopeful that these specialized K9 units will change the future of police investigation. “I look back on all the other cases that we as a team have investigated and served search warrants on, and it makes me think, ‘What have we missed?'”

“Even if he worked 19 years and we were only able to get one really bad guy with him, to me that’s worth it.”

5 comments

  1. uh…..are we actually expected to believe this absurd twaddle!

    hunh!

    let them find USB drives…..I wonder if the mutt can crack TrueCrypt?

  2. No only that, but folks need to start using USB drives with hardware encryption:

    http://www.kingston.com/us/usb/encrypted_security/hardware_vs_software

    Choose a LONG key PIN, and within that, use VeraCrypt or TrueCrypt (the latter volumes can be mounted in Tails) using the DICE password system. Do *NOT* write your passphrases down anywhere, ever!!! And, if and when the cops show-up, plead the 5th! They shouldn’t, ever, if you are using Tails with Tor bridges.

    So, five layers of defense:

    Hardware Encrypted USB -> Tails -> Tor Bridges -> Tails LUKS persistent storage -> VeraCrypt

    And, as for the doggy, have a few dozen (or, if you are ambitious, a few hundred) USB drives hidden all over your house or apartment, all of which are encrypted (even if they do not have hardware encryption) with nothing but gibberish. Just make sure that the real one at least “smells” like all the others!!! Make them so hidden that you can have your attorney blame their presence on someone else!!!

    • Scooby Dooby Doo

      Good advice, TorBoy! But, a few hundred flash drives lying around one’s apartment seems excessive, expensive, unnecessary, and, might I add, incriminating! Best to have at most a dozen. Also, don’t forget anonymous public Wi-Fi; it can be a Darknet surfer’s “best friend”.

      As for the newly minted USB-sniffing canines, remember, they are dogs!!! They are not infallible and flash drives are not drugs. Keep your home/apartment filled with a variety of odors from grilled hamburgers to human excrement (you don’t have to smell it, but the dog will) and piss, and it will at least slow the dog down. Remember, around 75% of all drug dog searches result in false positives, which means that if you have cash in your wallet, you’re going to be searched! Keep things up high (where the dog’s nose isn’t) is an absolute must!! Odors will travel through plastic, not so much through glass. Remember, the advice that applies to drug dogs also applies here, even LESS so!

      Also remember that the cops are professional liars, which is why the maxim “Silence is golden” is absolutely necessary. They, unlike you, are on a timer, and while nearly all of them are willing to lie to you (in fact, I am surprised that more of them are not indiscriminately murdered for this bad cop behavior), few of them are willing to lie in open court under oath. And, so, pleading the 5th and asking for an attorney are an absolute must!

      Encrypt, encrypt, encrypt!! And, memorize, memorize, memorize!! I love the DICE system and use it myself.

  3. noofun4dapolice

    OMFG that is so funny, The dog is trained to sniff out tails true crypt or gpg4usb. Can it sniff URL’s also LOL.
    What fucking bullshit. You need to pass that Bullshit on the regular news. Not here where we KNOW it is BULLSHIT.

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