Dog trained to sniff out memory devices helps catch high-profile suspected pedophile in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY — A dog trained to sniff out memory devices has helped catch a high-profile suspected pedophile in Mexico City.

>> Read more trending news

An organization in the Netherlands, Free a Girl, which works to fight human trafficking, reached out to Operation Underground Railroad in the United States about a Dutch man named Nelson Maatman who was suspected to be in Mexico, according to the Associated Press. Free a Girl said they had learned that Maatman had fled from the Netherlands to Mexico during pending court cases.

Operation Underground Railroad set up a plan to lure Maatman in by using chat rooms and social media pages that he was active on, according to the AP. They were able to confirm that Maatman was in Mexico and were able to arrange a meet-up at a gas station.

Mexico City detectives waited for him at a bus station near the gas station, according to the AP, on June 5. He was allegedly found with a gun and cocaine.

The AP says that one of the problems was that when Maatman was arrested, it was at a public place, not his home, so investigators were not sure where he was living or keeping any child porn. Mexico City officials tracked Maatman on surveillance and were eventually able to find an apartment that he was renting, said the AP. Once they got a search warrant, Operation Underground Railroad’s K9, Hidu, got to work.

Hidu is trained to sniff out TPPO, which is a chemical used in memory devices that helps prevent overheating. There is just enough of it, according to the AP, that the dogs can smell it and are able to locate the devices.

Investigators found USB sticks and laptops with child pornography, a firearm, cartridges, and other drugs in the apartment. Operation Underground Railroad’s K9 Hidu Instagram post, said Hidu was responsible for finding a cellphone and two hard drives.

“This was my first operation, and I was so excited to put my nose to good use with this investigation,” said Operation Underground Railroad’s K9 Hidu. According to the AP, Hidu graduated just two weeks ago.

Maatman is being held at a Mexico City prison on recommended charges of human trafficking and drug and weapon possession, according to the AP.