US Border Patrol Installs New X-ray Machine,
Speeds Up Security at Laredo, TX Checkpoint

The US Border Patrol in Laredo, Texas, has added a new X-ray machine called the Multi-Energy Portal (MEP) at the I-35 Border Patrol Checkpoint.

US Border Patrol's New X-ray Machine Speeds Up Security at Laredo Checkpoint

US Border Patrol Laredo Sector Adds New X-ray Machine to Speed Up Security Inspections

The US Border Patrol in Laredo, Texas, has added a new X-ray machine called the Multi-Energy Portal (MEP) at the I-35 Border Patrol Checkpoint. This new technology aims to make inspecting commercial vehicles faster and safer. It’s a big step forward in keeping the border secure while helping trade move smoothly.

New X-Ray Machine for Better Security

The Multi-Energy Portal is a special type of X-ray machine. It can see through the heavy shielding of big trucks to check what’s inside. This means Border Patrol agents can look for illegal items without having to unload the trucks. The MEP can scan over 150 trucks every hour, keeping traffic moving and reducing wait times.

Fighting Drug Smuggling

One of the main reasons for using the MEP is to stop drug smuggling. The Border Patrol in Laredo works hard to keep drugs out of the United States. The MEP helps by making it easier to find hidden drugs. This new tool is part of a bigger plan by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to use the best technology to stop illegal activities at the border.

Proven Success of the X-Ray Machine

Other places using this kind of technology have seen great results. For example, in August 2023, officers at the Santa Teresa port of entry in New Mexico used a similar X-ray machine to find over $1.5 million worth of drugs, including methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine. These success stories show how important advanced technology is for border security.

Working Together for Better Results

The new X-ray machine in Laredo is part of a joint effort between CBP and the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). Since 2018, they have worked with industry partners to create and test these advanced X-ray systems. The goal is to make inspections faster and more accurate. The MEP uses both low-energy scans for truck cabs and higher-energy scans for cargo, giving a complete picture of what’s inside the trucks.

Looking Ahead

As more ports of entry get these new X-ray machines, the results are promising. For instance, at the Brownsville port of entry, there has been a 56% increase in the number of vehicles scanned, which means trucks are crossing the border more quickly. Future improvements will focus on handling the large amounts of data these scans produce and reducing human errors by using smart algorithms and artificial intelligence.

The new Multi-Energy Portal X-ray machine at the I-35 Border Patrol Checkpoint in Laredo, Texas, is a big improvement in border security and trade facilitation. This technology makes it easier and safer to inspect commercial vehicles and helps stop drug smuggling. As CBP continues to use advanced technology, the security of the US border will keep getting better.


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