NEWARK - The FBI has a new tool to help solve crimes: a unique dog.
Iris is one of only seven dogs worldwide that is trained to find electronic components that store data. Some of these items may be no larger than a finger nail.
“Cybercrime has evolved and is such a threat right now,” says the Newark FBI’s Michael Brodack.
FBI officials say that many investigations hinge on finding flash drives, hard drives, SIM cards and other storage devices, and Iris can find all of these items.
"It’s the gang member with a cellphone; it's the terrorist who builds a bomb using electronic components, all of those are devices that Iris is trained to detect,” says Phil Frigm, a supervisory special agent in the FBI’s cybercrime division.
Bombs like the ones used at the Boston Marathon bombing can be triggered through electronics like cellphones and Iris can even find components after a blast.
“She was able to find pieces of electronic circuit boards in an open field,” says Frigm.
Iris can even find a USB stick hidden in a table leg or an SD card in the baseboard of a wall.
The FBI says that Connecticut State Police are the ones who pioneered this type of search training for dogs.