Archive for December, 2013

Narcotics Detection – Tools to Use If You Don't Have a Canine

If you travel very often, particularly if crossing the US border into Canada or Mexico, you may have noticed United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents moving between the different vehicles. They will be leading their contraband narcotics detection-trained dog. The agent and his dog are often the first-line of defense in locating illegal substances like heroin, ecstacy, crystal meth, cocaine and marijuana. These dogs can also be trained to locate firearms, fireworks or alcoholic beverages. Many law enforcement agencies also use K-9 units for narcotics detection, but what alternatives are available for agencies that do not have a K-9 unit?

Campbell/Harris Security Equipment Company, also known as CSECO, manufactures a variety of contraband detectors and has since the middle of the 1980s. Nothing will replace a highly trained canine and their handler, but the Buster and other contraband detectors manufactured by CSECO can be used to achieve similar results if the law enforcement agents do not have a K-9 available.

CSECO’s first contraband detector was the Buster K910B density meter. Patrick J. Campbell, founder of CSECO, was asked by the US government to design a contraband detector that would be able to detect contraband through more than one type of surface at a time. With the help of CBP agents who would be using the new tool in the field, CSECO was able to manufacture a tool that quickly alerted agents to contraband including narcotics, currency and other types of contraband. What made the Buster unique was the use of back-scatter technology to detect anomalies quickly.

The Buster contraband detector uses low-intensity gamma radiation. This technology is entirely safe for canines and humans and works by measuring the density of an object. When the Buster is used, and it detects a discrepancy in the object, by either being too low or too high, an alert is given to indicate the discrepancy. The agent or officer knows to inspect this area more closely because chances are contraband is present. The Buster provides both an audible alert as well as a visual alert on its hand-held display.

Anyone driving a vehicle that has produced a ‘hit’ or alert will be moved to secondary inspection. The agent will perform an in-depth scan with the Buster K910B but may also turn to the FV Series Fiberscope, also manufactured by CSECO, which permits agents to inspect areas of a vehicle not normally accessed without dismantling the vehicle. The Fiberscope is made with 16,000 fiber optic strands which produce high-intensity lights that make even the darkest recesses bright. The strands are wrapped with tungsten which enables it to be used inside fuel tanks filled with diesel or gasoline. Since would-be smugglers like to hide objects in the fuel tank, Fiberscope makes it much easier to see what is hidden and then removed by draining the tank to gain access to the packages.

Other areas used to hide contraband are behind the display panels of the vehicle, inside the doors or seats of the vehicle. The Fiberscope, with its two-way articulation and lights, enables agents to see inside these areas with its ocular unit. By adding the optional video display, agents can record their inspection or allow others to see the inspection in real-time.

CSECO understands the CSECO Buster K910B or FV Series Fiberscope will not replace the trained canine and its handler along the borders of the US. Nor would they assume their tools should replace them. However, it is great to have optional technology like the Buster and FV Series Fiberscope to complement these units that work so hard to keep drugs off the streets. They are also an awesome choice for those who fight to remove drugs without the K-9 unit available.

Using CSECO Fiberscope Leads to Seizure of 7 LBs of Crystal Meth

Law enforcement officers around the country, particularly those working with contraband detection and drug interdiction, need technology they can trust. Many agencies turn to contraband detection equipment manufactured by Campbell/Harris Security Company (CSECO). CSECO receives testimonials from officers that explain how important CSECO contraband detectors are to locating and seizing illegal contraband.

For instance, during a traffic stop along I-20 October, 2013, a Criminal Interdiction Officer, a member of a Mississippi task force, stopped a 2003 Toyota Tundra. The occupant of the truck acted in such a way that the officer felt the driver might be traveling with contraband in their vehicle so he requested permission to search the truck.

After the driver gave permission to search the vehicle, the officer started his inspection where he noticed an area under the rear seat of the truck that stood out. Removing the seat, the officer was able to locate a sophisticated hidden compartment under the seat.

The officer chose the CSECO FV Series Fiberscope because he knew he would be able to see inside the compartment to confirm whether contraband was hidden there without having to take the vehicle apart further. The FV Series Fiberscope is made up of 16,000 individual fiber optic strands with a high-intensity light. This allowed the officer to see plastic bags hidden in the compartment. The officer suspected the bags held Crystal Meth or some other illegal substance.

Accessing the compartment by removing under carriage components, the officer removed six hidden packages that weighed in around 7 pounds total. The officer stated that if he did not have the FV Series Fiberscope it is unlikely he would have been able to locate or confiscate the contraband.

Along with the FV Series Fiberscope, CSECO also manufactures the Buster K910B contraband detector and density meter and CT – 30 Contraband Team Detection Kit which includes the Buster, Fiberscope and other contraband detection equipment. This equipment is able to locate hidden drugs, weapons, currency as well as being able to detect ‘dirty bombs’ and explosives.

To learn more about the FV Series Fiberscope or any of the other contraband detectors manufactured and sold to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, send an email to info@cseco.com or call 510-864-8010. CSECO has training available for all of their contraband detection equipment.

Mississippi Criminal Interdiction Officer points out suspicious area under the seat of a 2003 Toyota Tundra during a stop along I-20 in October, 2013.

Mississippi Criminal Interdiction Officer points out suspicious area under the seat of a 2003 Toyota Tundra during a stop along I-20 in October, 2013.

The officer points to a hidden compartment they located when inspecting the vehicle.

The officer points to a hidden compartment they located when inspecting the vehicle.

The compartment, accessible only by removing under carriage components of the truck, shows contraband hidden within.

The compartment, accessible only by removing under carriage components of the truck, shows contraband hidden within.

The officer begins to remove the bags containing suspected drugs from the hidden compartment.

The officer begins to remove the bags containing suspected drugs from the hidden compartment.

When all bags are removed from the hidden compartment, six bags weighing close to 7 pounds were seized from the compartment under the 2003 Toyota Tundra.

When all bags are removed from the hidden compartment, six bags weighing close to 7 pounds were seized from the compartment under the 2003 Toyota Tundra.

That motivating and progressive event when countries come together in the name of sport and healthy competition is just around the corner. It is an inspiring time when the athletes become global icons and national heroes. I’m not talking about the 2012 Olympics in London, what I’m talking about is the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the preparation measures involved in putting together such a grand and globally spectated event. Preparations began at the moment FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced Brazil will get the “responsibility, not only the right” to host the 2014 World Cup.

The FIFA President emphasized the host country’s responsibility because of the major implications that come with putting together such a global event. Every acute detail and situation must be attended to in order to ensure a smooth, enjoyable, and safe event. A major part of Brazil’s preparations is its investment and implementation of new security measures that involve the use of advanced technology. Take a look at a previous article on this blog to read about some of the interesting devices Brazil has implemented with their near $10 billion budget, surpassing South Africa’s 2010 World Cup budget by 120%. The host country has expressed their stance on not being defensive but proactive when it comes to security measures during the world cup festivities. As a result many Brazilian agencies have taken a huge interest in state of the art interdiction equipment such as the tools and devices offered by CSECO.

Federal Police started testing the CT-30 Contraband Detection Kit, including the Buster Contraband Detector,  several weeks ago and have had much success during the testing phase. They recently made their biggest drug bust in 3 years confiscating two tons of contraband in Cesario Lange, SP