Judge Tosses 16 Kilos of Meth Evidence (illegal X-ray search)

Engineering Evil

By CAMERON LANGFORD

CORPUS CHRISTI (CN) – Sixteen kilos of methamphetamine the Border Patrol found in an SUV was struck from the record by a federal judge because the agents didn’t get the driver’s consent to X-ray the vehicle.

After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Customs and Border Protection bought 75 Z Backscatter Vans to X-ray vehicles at border checkpoints, according to the nonprofit investigative reporting group ProPublica.

The vans are made by American Science & Engineering, which sells them for $700,000 to $1 million.

Rather than sending radiation through an object, as with medical X-rays, backscatter X-rays transmit radiation and collect its reflections to create an image.

American Science, of Massachusetts, touts the X-ray van on its website: “Its easy-to-read image quickly and clearly reveals threats like explosives, drugs, currency, and trade-fraud items such as alcohol and cigarettes – even in high-throughput environments like border crossings and security…

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