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

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.

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.