CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cuyahoga County's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has a new weapon in its fight to protect children and bust child pornographers, and she has four paws.
Diana is an electronic scent detection K-9. The 2-year-old Black Lab can sniff out digital devices, like laptops and thumb drives, with her nose. She could even find a microSD card, which is about the size of a fingernail, inside a bag of garbage.
ICAC says Diana's path to her new career in crime fighting started on the streets. The dog was a stray before she went through a training program to become one of only three electronics-sniffing dogs in the state.
Electronic scent detection dogs are trained to smell triphenylphosphine oxide, a chemical compound used in circuit boards, which help operate cell phones and computers. The dogs can also detect hydroxycyclohexyl phenyl ketone, which is found on CDs and DVDs.
In 2015, an electronic-sniffing K-9 named Bear played a pivotal role in Jared Fogle's child pornography case. Bear was able to find a thumb drive that investigators missed while searching the former Subway spokesman's Indiana home. Fogle was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
Since joining the ICAC Task Force in December, Diana has assisted in the execution of at least a half dozen search warrants. She even found a device containing child pornography at one of the locations. ICAC says Diana is available to assist local law enforcement agencies in their searches for electronic evidence.
The keen-nosed K-9 is quickly gaining fans on social media, with more than 660 followers on Instagram.