Meet Minnesota’s Newest Weapon To Fight Child Exploitation – ‘Sota’
Yesterday the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension announced the arrival of Minnesota's newest weapon in the fight to end child exploitation, Sota, the British Labrador. Sota is a trained K9 that is able to detect hidden electronic devices like USB drives, cell phones, etc. Sota is also Minnesota's first electronic detection K9 Officer/Agent.
"Training dogs as electronic detection K9s is a relatively new practice – just two years ago there were only three such K9s in the United States. Now there are about three dozen. K9 Sota locates evidence by recognizing the odor of triphenylphosphine oxide, or TPPO – a chemical coating on all memory storage chips in electronic devices."
“K9 Sota is trained to help find tiny pieces of plastic that may contain critical evidence in a case,” said BCA Superintendent Drew Evans. “Adding her to our team will help the BCA further strengthen our cases involving predatory criminals.”
Sota primarily will be working on child exploitation cases across Minnesota, but she will also assist in cases regarding financial crimes, homicides, and other cases where electronic storage devices may contain valuable evidence. She is partnered with BCA Special Agent Lucas Munkelwitz who works in the BCA’s predatory crimes section
Sota has already been on the job, since she arrived in May. Sota has been used on 10 cases including "predatory crimes, homicides, and financial crimes." She has been pretty successful in locating hidden electronics as she has already located 21 pieces of potential electronic evidence, including according to the press release "a hidden cell phone from a homicide case."
Who's a good dog?