A Public Service of Santa Fe Community College
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Four-legged Special Agent Fights Cyber Crime against Kids

Electronic sniffing dog Joey works with the NM Internet Crimes against Children Unit
New Mexico Internet Crimes against Children Unit
New Mexico Department of Justice
Electronic sniffing dog Joey works with the NM Internet Crimes against Children Unit

Four-legged Special Agent Joey Fights Cyber Crime against Kids

Joey is a yellow lab who has been specially trained to help New Mexico law enforcement find electronic devices which harbor child pornography or other sexually explicit materials. Joey and his owner Owen Pena work for New Mexico’s Internet Crimes against Children Unit. This cybercrimes unit locates, tracks and captures sexual predators and child pornographers.

So how does the system work? After they get a search warrant to look at specific places, law enforcement will first do a human search for evidence of child pornography or other sexual crimes which are stored on electronic devices. After the human search of the premises, a dog like Joey will do his own follow-up search. Thanks to the dog’s incredible sense of smell, Joey can find evidence that humans have missed. What the dog is smelling is a substance called TPPO which is found on the circuit boards of all electronic devices. Joey is the only electronic-sniffing dog in New Mexico.

Mary Lou Cooper reports on consumer issues for KSFR as well as on politics and elder affairs. She has worked for the U.S. Congress as well as for the Nevada and Tennessee legislatures, and remains a political junkie. She worked many years for an association of Western state legislatures and was a contributor to “Capitol Ideas,” a national magazine about state government. In 2016 Cooper received a public service award from the New Mexico Broadcasting Association for her KSFR story on Internet romance scams. She has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and from the National Federation of Press Women. She grew up in Oak Ridge, TN and received her BA from Emory University in Atlanta and her MA from the University of Texas Austin. She also holds fiction and screenwriting certificates from the University of Washington.