Operation Underground Railroad
A dog named Hidu is being hailed as a hero after sniffing out essential evidence in the case against a high-profile suspected pedophile found hiding out in Mexico City.
According to The Associated Press, Free a Girl — a Netherlands-based group fighting human trafficking — recently warned the U.S.-based Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) that a Dutch man who openly supported sexual activity with children had fled the Netherlands and his pending court cases to Mexico City.
With this information, the activist groups, Mexican prosecutors, and Hidu, a dog trained by Jordan Detection K9 Academy to sniff out memory devices, joined forces to find the man. The team used chat rooms and social media to lure the individual into a trap.
"We were able to confirm he was in Mexico and then talking to him in just different chat rooms," Matt Osborne, OUR's director of global operations, told AP. "He said, 'I'm in a really kind of dangerous rundown area. I don't want to give you my address. I don't want you guys to come see me, but you can come meet me at a gas station.'"
On June 5, Mexico City prosecution detectives met the man at the designated gas station and placed him in prison on charges of human trafficking and drug and weapons possession.
After tracking down the man's small hideout apartment, OUR called upon Hidu. The black labrador is trained to sniff out triphenylphosphine oxide, or TPPO, a chemical used to coat electronic devices, like memory cards and flash drives.
Even though Hidu had only completed his training two weeks before entering the suspect's apartment, the dog had no trouble locating the man's devices loaded with child sexual abuse evidence.
The AP noted that Hidu found a phone hidden in a pile of dirty laundry and more evidence taped behind a hung painting.
"The dog sniffed out a couple of the hard drives in a few places in his apartment that were difficult for humans to find, but the dog sniffed it out," Osborne explained.
Thanks to Hidu's incredible nose, prosecutors collected four terabytes of child sexual abuse evidence.
Todd Jordan, the owner of Jordan Detection K9 Academy, emphasizes the importance of electronics detection dogs like Hidu.
"I think the electronics dogs have now surpassed the accelerant canines because of just the need of them, and just because of the way the world is right now," Jordan told AP. "These dogs, I mean just everybody, every internet crimes task force could use one of these."