FDLE’s electronic detection dog sniffs out evidence

For Immediate Release
June 2, 2022

TAMPA, Fla. – FDLE police dog Layla, and her handler Special Agent Ritchie Kaplan, will host a brief demonstration and media availability today at 1 p.m. at the agency’s Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center, 4211 North Lois Avenue.

Special Agent in Charge Mark Brutnell said, “I’m very excited for this new and innovative investigative tool to assist us and our partners in the Tampa Bay Region. Most crimes have a cyber component to them and Layla will be an asset for many years to come.”

Layla is an American Labrador born in Utah in December 2020. She underwent electronic storage detection training in Indiana at Jordan Detection K-9s, one of the leading K-9 training centers in the country.
FDLE assigned Layla to Agent Kaplan in February of this year. Layla was trained to sniff out chemical compounds found in electronics – everything from thumb drives to cell phones. She can even detect tiny microSD cards that are less than a millimeter thick and difficult for human eyes to spot.

“Over the last two decades, I have seen an evolution in the techniques criminals use to hide evidence. From hollowed-out items to false floor boards, inventive schemes to conceal evidence are constantly being used,” said Kaplan. “We have found that criminals or suspects are no different. They will go to complicated and extreme lengths to obscure and hide their criminal activities. The development of FDLE’s Electronic Storage Detection (ESD) K-9 program has been an effective initiative in combating this trend,” he added.

Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) donated Layla to FDLE.

Media Availability
What: FDLE’s electronic storage device K-9 demonstration and media availability.
Who: FDLE Tampa Bay Special Agent in Charge Mark Brutnell and Special Agent Ritchie Kaplan.
Date: June 2, 2022
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern
Location: FDLE Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center
Visitor’s parking lot
4211 North Lois Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33614
For Further Information Contact:
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Priorities

FDLE is composed of five areas: Executive Direction and Business Support, Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science, Criminal Justice Information, Criminal Justice Professionalism and Florida Capitol Police. FDLE’s duties, responsibilities and procedures are mandated through Chapter 943, FS, and Chapter 11, FAC. To learn more about these areas, read our Statement of Agency Organization and Operation or visit our Open Government page.