Introducing URL, The USB Porn-Sniffing Dog

Posted: Sep 6 2016, 9:38am CDT | by , in News | Also on the Geek Mind

 

Introducing URL, the USB Porn-Sniffing Dog
Photo Credit: Getty Images
 

The Weber County Sheriff's Office has an interesting approach to helping within the community. There have a porn dog, also known as "smut mutt." He is a crime-fighting tool that can sniff out dangerous criminals and predators. The black lab is a rescue, and he also happens to be Detective Cameron Hartman's newest secret weapon and partner. They came together at the end of May and named him URL - pronounced "Earl." 

URL sniffs out electronic storage media like USB storage The 18-month-old is one of fewer than 24 dogs in the US that can sniff out the unique chemical compounds that are emitted by memory cards, flash drives, cell phones, iPads, and other devices. They obviously can't name what is on it, but they can find devices that are hidden.

It was one of these trained dogs, this time, a K-9 named Bear, who found the thumb drives inside the home of former Subway spokesman Jarden Fogle. Bear was also used against former US gymnastic coach Marvin Sharp. This time, Bear found a gun safe that hid several SD Cards according to trainer Todd Jordan.

"And you know how airtight those safes are," Jordan said. "It goes to show how sensitive their noses really are."

Most of the dogs live and work on the East Coast, though bear is in Seattle and there is another in Alaska.  

URL is the only dog in the Rocky Mountain Region with these skills.

"The counterterrorism stuff, the child exploitation kinds of crimes, the child porn crimes, child trafficking," said Hartman. "There are so many different types of crimes that can be documented on electronic media storage."

The dogs that get the training have to be high energy. They go through about five months of training and work three hours every day.

"The only time a dog eats is when he works," explained Jordan, founder of Jordan Detection K9 in Indiana, a premier training outfit for K-9s specializing in electronic detection to CNN.

The dogs are pretty expensive - costing around $10,000 in total. It does take some time, but Jordan has two more ready to go.

"I've had several people call. I have, like, 16 departments pursuing this. It just depends on who gets the money," said Jordan.

Harman says that he believes the cost will be well worth it. "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?'" said Hartman. "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."

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.

 

 

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