Pushmataha County sheriff gets software to break into locked devices

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PUSHMATAHA COUNTY, Okla. (KXII) -- The power to crack into suspects' mobile devices during investigations is now in the hands of local law enforcement.

In the past, if Pushmataha County Sheriff BJ Hedgecock wanted to get info off a suspect's locked phone, he had to mail it to the State Bureau of Investigation in Oklahoma City. This could take weeks, but now, the technology is right in his office.

"Now when you catch somebody with drugs, you can download their phone and find out what's going on, speed up the investigation," Hedgecock said.

It's all thanks to a $10,000 grant Hedgecock applied for and received from the state attorney general's office. With a search warrant, Hedgecock's staff can use this new device and software to crack open most phones and tablets.

"We can download and take everything that was on that phone, that was even erased on that phone, and put it on CDs," Hedgecock said.

After plugging in the device, the software transfers the info onto the computer. They can search for keywords, view all photos, find frequent callers and information that might link suspects.

Hedgecock said his is one of the only agencies in Texoma to have access to this software, so he's allowing any agency, in Texas and Oklahoma, to use it for free.

"I have never heard of anyone providing that kind of assistance with this technology," Antlers police officer James Capps said.

A widespread effect. Something Antlers officer James Capps said will transform investigations all over Texoma.

"I think it's wonderful that we have the technology that's coming to a smaller community like this to help combat drugs, counterfeiting and other crimes," Capps said.

"I hope it makes our cases better and easier for the DA to prosecute and my main thing is that with child molestation and stuff, I want to make sure we get large prison sentences with it," Hedgecock said.