- Laura A. Bischoff Columbus bureau
Reptar, a 22-month-old black Labrador Retriever trained to sniff out hidden electronic storage devices, is the newest agent to join the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation in the Ohio Attorney General’s office.
Attorney General Mike DeWine and Agent Josh Rammel introduced the dog at a press conference Friday in Columbus.
“He can search the most cluttered home or the biggest vehicle and find the smallest electronic device with storage capabilities. He finds the devices that are hidden in plain sight and the ones that are purposely concealed because the suspect does not want us to find them,” DeWine said. “Criminals have an amazing ability to hide this stuff.”
Grant money covered the $11,000 bill for training Reptar, DeWine said.
On the job for two months, Reptar has already sniffed out a small storage card hidden in a drawer with a false bottom while officers served a search warrant on a child pornography case near Youngstown. He also found a cell phone stashed in a toilet at a state prison in northeast Ohio.
Rammel said he named Reptar after a green dinosaur character from the cartoon ‘Rugrats.’ The dog lives with Rammel, his handler.
Reptar is one of two dogs in Ohio trained to sniff out specific chemicals found in electronic storage devices and one of about 50 worldwide trained to do so, DeWine said.
Rammel said with one day notice, he and Reptar can help local law enforcement agencies search for and find hidden electronic storage devices.