With each passing day, drug traffickers are coming up with new ways to conceal contraband and avoid detection, but law enforcement officers in our area now have a new highly-efficient weapon in the fight against drugs.
You’ve likely heard of super heroes with X-ray vision, now Mississippi’s law enforcement officers have the same advantage right at the tips of their fingers thanks to a helping hand from a crime-fighting and drug interdiction group.
Tim Valenti is executive director of the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, also known as HIDTA, and was on hand for Friday’s unveiling of the state-of-the-art, high-tech new weapon in the fight against drugs. “We’ve been able to secure some extra funding to buy this special piece of equipment, this scanning device, to make it easier for our narcotics officers out there on the streets to find drugs so they can seize drugs and contraband, for that matter. What it is, is a scanning machine that can be used to scan an automobile, tractor trailer, inside of a home, to see what’s behind the wall, to see what’s in there. For example, if you’re scanning, you can easily see the outline of a weapon, and also other contraband like drugs.”
This Viken X-Ray scanning device not only is helping to take drugs off the street, but also provides better protection for our area law enforcement officers whose work often puts them in dangerous and potentially deadly situations. Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell said, “That’s right, and especially when you go into a drug house, and you know there’s been drug activity. When you leave there, after scanning the walls, you’ll know that nobody can come back later and retrieve the guns or drugs that were hidden.”
This technology has already proven to be a great investment although it’s only been in use a little more than a year here in the state of Mississippi. “In one seizure alone, by using the scanner, $650,000 was seized in one major corridor in Mississippi, so in one seizure, it has already paid for itself.”
Mississippi is just one of the six Gulf Coast HIDTA states equipped with the latest technology to fight drug crimes in our area along with our partners across state lines.