It’s true, and reportedly, even the recent search of Jared Fogle’s home involved a Labrador who found a thumb drive of potential evidence.
The dog is one of a handful or two nationwide that’s trained to sniff out electronics and their component parts based on a chemical that’s common to all of them. Law enforcement won’t identify the chemical, but after a few months of training, the dogs learn to detect its odor. They can then be used to search for anything from laptops, tablets, and hard drives to thumb drives, circuit boards, and tiny memory cards.
It’s a relatively new advent but one that’s catching on quickly.
Still, we should remain wary of the potential for abuse. A lot depends on how well these dogs are trained and how scrupulously they are used by their handlers, among other things.