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States use K-9s to search for smuggled cell phones

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news Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

GALT, Calif. (AP) -- They've been finding hidden bombs, drugs and corpses for years, using their sense of smell to locate what their human handlers would otherwise have to see in plain sight.

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Now dogs are being deployed in prisons to help curb one of the most serious problems confronting corrections officials: smuggled cell phones.

It turns out that cell phones smell. And their distinct odor can lead a well-trained canine to a device hidden under a mattress, stashed into a wall or tucked into a fan or radio.

Inmates use them to arrange drug deals, plot escapes and attacks, coordinate riots and harass victims.

Cell phone sniffing dogs have been dispatched in prisons in a handful of states, including California, as other methods to heel the problem have fallen short.

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