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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has introduced a new investigator with a specialized skill set.

Sota is a two-year-old British Labrador and is the first K9 in Minnesota trained to locate electronic evidence. The BCA says Sota can detect USB drives, micro SD cards, cell phones, and other tiny plastic pieces that emit the odor of a chemical coating used on all memory storage chips.

“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.”

The BCA says Sota's primary mission will be to assist in child exploitation cases but her skills should also prove to be useful in the investigation of financial crimes, homicides, and any other cases where electronic storage devices could contain valuable evidence. The K9 joined the agency in May and has already been deployed on 10 cases. A news release says she has located 21 pieces of potential electronic evidence, including what the BCA described as a meticulously hidden cell phone in a homicide case.

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