COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs Police Department in partnership with Homeland Security Investigations in Colorado announced Thursday the newest member assigned to the Internet Crimes against Children Unit (ICAC).
Luna Pixel, the newest member, assigned to the ICAC unit, is a two-year-old Labrador Retriever trained to sniff out hidden electronic devices in child exploitation cases.
The Colorado ICAC is a group of local and federal law enforcement agencies that investigate crimes involving children and the internet.
“Child predators are becoming more savvy in their efforts to exploit children for their sick fantasies and HSI along with our partners at the CSPD and ICAC task force are working together to stay ahead of them,” said Assistant Special Agent Jay Ingersoll, Homeland Security Investigations, Colorado.
According to Ingersoll, a small SD card can contain thousands of images and hundreds of minutes of video, and several drives can be hidden around homes.
“Luna, the electronics sniffing dog, is another critical tool to help us investigate and bring criminals to justice by finding evidence hidden throughout houses and workplaces,” said Ingersoll.
Luna has been training since January and is the first electronics-detection K-9 in all of Colorado.
Her capabilities include sniffing out laptops, thumb drives, flash drives, and, more recently, she learned how to find CDs and DVDs.
Now without using taxpayer’s money, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was able to get the funding Luna, a Colorado Springs native, with money forfeited from previous crimes.
“The internet is a powerful tool that can enhance people’s lives, but unfortunately, that same technology is also used to commit unspeakable crimes against vulnerable populations, to include our community’s children. With Luna joining our team, we can investigate crimes like never before. We are thankful for her skillset and excited to get to work keeping Colorado safe,” said Colorado ICAC Commander and Colorado Springs Police Lieutenant Christy Sheppard.
Ingersoll says adding her to the investigative team makes it easier to find these hidden items like flash drives in locations investigators might have missed when doing a visual search.
“More kids online, with more adults online, equals multiple opportunities for crime,” voiced Ingersoll.