Meet Maggie, the LSP dog helping to sniff out devices storing child porn

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - K-9s helping police crack down on crime are nothing new in law enforcement. But, there's a new dog in town, in fact, she's the only one in the state, that's helping Louisiana State Police sniff out devices, many which people try to hide in their homes like flash drives, that can be used to store child porn.

Photo Source: KALB

Her name is Maggie and we were first introduced to her briefly last month in Baton Rouge at a press conference held by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry about 63 child exploitation arrests in a federal, state and local initiative called "Operation Broken Heart."

We wanted to learn more, so with the help of State Police headquarters, Maggie stopped by the TV station with her trooper handler for a demonstration on how it all works.

Landry had some tough words for child predators at the press conference, "Just so that you know, for those criminals out there, no matter what we have to do, we will find you."

He's praising a new tool, 2-year-old black lab, Maggie, for her role in helping. She's a fun-loving pup when she's off the clock, but when she's on, she's all business.

"As soon as I put the food pouch on, that her on/off switch. She goes to work," said Trooper Tommy Bellue, Maggie's handler who is based out of Troop A in Baton Rouge.

Here's how it all works. Maggie is one of 21 dogs in the world who is trained to sniff out a chemical called Triphenylphosphine oxide, or TPPO. It's the chemical used to coat the space shuttle to keep it cool, but also electronics with memory.

So, we hid a few electronics around the TV station to test her skills, including an Apple Watch, a hard drive, and a flash drive.

"She has a couple of behavior changes once she's in odor," Bellue explained. "But, when she actually alerts, she'll sit. I can ask her to show me and then she'll go back to the source with her nose and show me where it's at."

Maggie quickly spots one we've hidden in a cabinet, then one behind some water jugs, and she even finds a device buried in a pile of junk that we have up in an attic.

Bellue officially finished a several-week-long training with her in March in Connecticut. Since then, she's been a huge asset to not only State Police, but also other agencies needing help in tracking down that sensitive material during search warrants.

"She pretty much alerts in every house due to TV remotes having memory, calculators, things like that," said Bellue. "But, there have been a few cases we were on for search warrants where she did find things like a basket that was behind some stuff that contained thumb drives that was missed by officers."

She's an invaluable resource, a tool for 21st-century law enforcement, all while being man's, well, trooper's best friend.

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