Fenanyl Found in Thrift Store Purchase

According to a Tweet by the Phoenix, Ariz. police, parents of a child purchased a glow worm toy at a local thrift store in El Mirage, Ariz. for their daughter. Inside the toy they found a sandwich bag with more than 5,000 pills believed to be fentanyl inside. They called Phoenix Police department to report and turned the toxic drugs to officers. The parents were in the process of cleaning and inspecting the toy when they made the discovery. Phoenix Police reminded all to inspect all opened and used items. It is unclear how the drugs wound up in the toy and in thrift shop in Arizona.

Camero-Tech Launches Xaver Long Range system

Camero-Tech is launching the Xaver LR80 (XLR80) system, which enables detection of live objects behind walls, at distances of more than 100 meters. This new capability provides a breakthrough operational advantage in a hostile environment.

Special forces and law enforcement teams conducting urban and rural operations require reliable information regarding hidden live objects to determine the most suitable approach to ensure successful missions and life-saving. Penetrating through walls from a remote location, the XLR80 creates an unprecedented, real-time situational awareness picture of whether there are people present beyond the wall, and if so, how many, their exact distance and their direction of movement. The system is also highly sensitive for detecting unseen micro movements of static live objects. Being able to achieve these capabilities and the high sensitivity, is a game changer in various operational scenarios, the company says.

Controlled by a tablet with a simple user interface for intuitive interpretation, the XLR80 features integrated data recording and playback for post-mission analysis, training and debriefing. A dedicated sight is used for accurately directing the narrow beam of the system to the target. The system can be operated by a single user and it is ready for use by a push of a button, says the company.

“For the first time, the operator in the field has the ability to see through walls at such long distance,” says Amir Beeri, CEO of Camero. “We have developed unique technology on which the XLR80 system is based on. An innovative Ultra-Wideband (UWB) sensor supported by patented algorithms and signal processing, provides the user with real time situational awareness while staying safe at more than 100 meters away from the target.”

The new XLR80 system is the latest addition to Camero’s Xaver family of products, which includes the Xaver 100, 400 and 800 and has beenn successfully deployed by elite customers around the world in military, law enforcement, intelligence and search and rescue applications.

The XLR80 is completely radiation safe by meeting international standards for human exposure.

DHS Stops Counterfeit N95 Masks from Reaching Hospital Workers

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) federal agents report they have seized approximately 11 million counterfeit 3M N95 respirator masks in recent weeks, the result of ongoing collaboration between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and manufacturer 3M to prevent counterfeit masks from reaching hospital workers and first responders.

“These seizures illustrate the ongoing efforts of HSI, CBP, and private industry in keeping our communities and medical staff safe and free from counterfeit products,” said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “Often, this battle is fought behind the scenes and is unknown to the general public, but you can be assured that the DHS workforce remains firmly committed to protecting the health and safety of our medical workers, the American public, and the integrity of the American economy.” “The public-private partnerships that are the hallmark of the IPR Center allow for swift and decisive action to protect consumers from fraudulent and potentially harmful or even deadly products. This work which is important on a blue-sky day to protect consumers, U.S. businesses, and the U.S. economy, is even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson. “The IPR Center with its many government agency and industry partners are unified in their commitment to fight COVID-related fraud.”

The most recent enforcement actions occurred today, with special agents seizing hundreds of thousands of counterfeit masks from an east coast warehouse as part of an ongoing investigation into a criminal enterprise distributing counterfeit masks throughout the U.S. In the past two weeks, HSI has conducted multiple criminal search warrants and seized counterfeit masks in operations conducted in five states, from coast to coast, with more enforcement actions expected in the coming weeks. Since many of the counterfeit masks are produced abroad, HSI also works closely with its international law enforcement partners around the world to pursue leads into sources of supply and prevent shipments of counterfeit products from reaching U.S. shores.

The initial leads came to the HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center last week through 3M, which shared reports of suspected counterfeits being purchased for healthcare workers. HSI mobilized quickly, initiating multi-state investigations into the individuals and organizations looking to profit from the sale and distribution of counterfeit N95 respirators.

At the same time, HSI notified about six thousand suspected victims of the fraud, in at least 12 states, including hospitals, medical facilities and others who may have purchased medical masks from the illicit dealers, urging them to immediately stop using the masks and to contact HSI immediately.

“3M is proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help combat counterfeiting of 3M N95 respirators,” said Kevin Rhodes, 3M Deputy General Counsel. “This collaboration has helped prevent millions of counterfeit respirators from reaching frontline workers. We are committed to fighting the pandemic from all angles – manufacturing needed PPE, working to prevent counterfeiting, and helping ensure N95s get to where they are needed the most.”

The cases that resulted in the recent seizures of counterfeit masks are being conducted under HSI’s Operation Stolen Promise, an initiative launched in April 2020 to protect the Homeland from the increasing and evolving threat posed by COVID-19-related fraud and criminal activity.

As of Feb. 10, HSI has seized more than $33 million in illicit proceeds; made 227 arrests; served 222 criminal search warrants; opened 862 investigations; and analyzed nearly 80,000 COVID-19 domain names pursuant to Operation Stolen Promise. Working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, more than 1,800 shipments of mislabeled, fraudulent, unauthorized or prohibited COVID-19 test kits, personal protective equipment, and other related items have been seized. These actions have kept counterfeit and substandard goods out of the supply chain and out of the hands of the general public and medical professionals; have protected individuals, businesses, and the financial system from fraud; have ensured the integrity of online marketplaces and COVID-19 related websites; and have resulted in violators being held accountable for their criminal efforts to exploit the pandemic for profit.

President Biden Pauses Construction of Border Wall

Just days after taking office, U. S. President Joe Biden ended the national emergency declared by Proclamation 9844, and continued on February 13, 2020 (85 Fed. Reg. 8715) that prescribed building the border wall between the U. S. and Mexico. Biden said the Trump emergency declaration was unwarranted and therefore stopped construction of the wall.

President Biden’s declaration began with the following:

“Like every nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats.  But building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution.  It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.  My Administration is committed to ensuring that the United States has a comprehensive and humane immigration system that operates consistently with our Nation’s values.  In furtherance of that commitment, I have determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border in Proclamation 9844 of February 15, 2019 (Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States), was unwarranted.  It shall be the policy of my Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall.  I am also directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to construct a southern border wall.” 

The declaration also calls for an assessment of the legality of the funding and contracting methods used to construct the wall and pauses, with immediate effect, the obligation of funds related to construction of the southern border wall, to the extent permitted by law, among other things.

So far it is unclear what, if anything, will be done with the National Guard troops deployed at the border to perform vehicle maintenance, monitor surveillance cameras and provide aviation support. Those troops have been there for more than two years and were planned to remain there through September 2021.

Policeman Received Suspended Sentence For Death of Child

Recently, a Belgian police officer was given an one-year suspended prison sentence in the shooting death of a 2-year-old child who was in a van being driven by suspected migrant smugglers.

The death was ruled accidental but the Belgian court found the officer held a share of the responsibility, resulting in the suspended sentence. The officer was in high speed pursuit of suspect smugglers and the child, who was in the van, was unknowingly shot in the pursuit. The van swerved and the officer tried to shoot out the tires. The incident occurred in May of 2018.

IAI Introduces a New Electro-Optical Surveillance System- MegaPOP

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is expanding its family of electro-optical/IR payloads with the introduction of MegaPOP. The electro-optical payload, which was developed by TAMAM, IAI’s electro-optical and navigation system house. 

The new payload is designed for land applications such as marine or land border control, surveillance of sensitive facilities, or any other operational mission that requires especially lengthy surveillance performance,  as well as high-definition vision capabilities with a system that uses several sensors, simultaneously. 

MegaPOP simultaneously tapes a video on a thermal/ HD channel with night vision, a color daylight HD channel and an innovative HD SWIR technology channel. The continuous zoom capability provides the end-user with high quality output even under highly challenging visual conditions. The system features an exceptionally long range of surveillance augmented by multispectral capabilities. It offers an extraordinary range of sensors that can be used together and a range of laser capabilities. Additional system features include digital tracking, specialized image processing, and additional methods of data processing and automating surveillance capabilities. A built-in gyro stabilizing system ensures stable imaging under all environmental conditions. MegaPOP has magnetic-independent, highly-accurate northing capability to assist in managing target datum points. Advanced digital interfaces allow simplified control even from remote control posts and operational work that involves additional sensors, including: ELINT, COMINT, and more.

Vehicle Scanning at Border Made Mandatory by New U. S. Law

On January 5, 2021 a new act, The Securing America’s Ports Act, was signed into existence requiring “a plan to expeditiously scan all commercial and passenger vehicles entering the United States at a land port of entry using large-scale non-intrusive inspection systems, such as X-ray and gamma-ray imaging systems, or similar technology,” the summary says.

The rule gives 180 days from enactment, which would be this summer, for the Department of Homeland Security to give a report to the Committee on Homeland security and others outlining what it will take to increase to “100 percent the rate of high-throughput scanning of commercial passenger vehicles and freight rail traffic entering the United States at land ports of entry and rail-border crossings along the border using large-scale non-intrusive inspection systems or similar technology to enhance border security.”

The concern is that the requirement will cause traffic congestion at the borders and ports and disrupt the supply chain.

HERE Partners with Ramco Systems to Add Location Intelligence

HERE Technologies, a provider of mapping and location platform services, has announced a partnership with Ramco Systems, a cloud enterprise software provider, to embed location intelligence in their Logistics ERP platform.

Ramco Logistics Software is an integrated and smart platform engineered to provide an end-to-end comprehensive business solution for 3PLs, Contract Logistics, Freight Forwarders, Project Cargo, Reefer Logistics, E-Commerce Logistics and Parcel/ Express Service Providers. By embedding geo-visualization layer provided by HERE, Ramco’s clients will benefit from real-time view of their logistics operations using HERE Maps.

In addition, Ramco will use HERE’s routing APIs to compute accurate ETAs (expected time of arrival) based on historic and real-time traffic conditions, movement of hazmat materials as well as truck attributes, thus enabling improved customer satisfaction. HERE will also provide advanced algorithms around dynamic re-routing to allow for updates to routes based on changes on traffic, weather, tour or new orders. Ramco will also integrate the HERE SDK to support turn by turn navigation on the mobile device supporting driver behavior analysis and allow drivers to safely stay focused on the road and traffic conditions around them.

“Being able to get a visual dashboard of logistics operations on maps in real-time will immensely benefit logistics service providers in planning, executing, and delivering customer delight. We are happy to partner with HERE to offer Geo visualization as part of our comprehensive Logistics ERP suite – thus ensuring a truly connected Digital Enterprise,”

“This technology partnership with Ramco will bring new innovations in movement of goods and truly provide insights to their customers within their integrated suite. We are really excited to be able to help support their innovations that will empower both their customers and drivers with real-time feedback such as alerts and traffic conditions and ensure real time movement of assets.” said Stanmira Koleva, SVP and general manager APAC at HERE Technologies. “With our complementary strengths in logistics management and location technology, this partnership is a great testament of how location can support both our vision of safe and productive logistics services.

According to Aditya Waghray, Strategic Partner Manager at HERE Technologies, the joint value proposition to Logistics clients is from accurate trip planning at the start of the trip to actual trip execution looking at toll costs, fuel consumption, dispatch efficiency and route optimization to the post trip analysis around driver performance, fleet utilization and overall cost management.   

The partnership is global in scope and covers range of 3PL, 4PLs, FF and traditional logistics companies.

Deadly Pileup of 130 Vehicles Leaves Six Dead, Many Injured in Texas

More than 130 vehicles were involved in a deadly crash on Interstate 35 in Fort Worth, Texas yesterday. The highway had to be shut down and people were trapped in their vehicles. The chain reaction accident happened early in the morning after precipitation left the roads with a slick coating of ice in spite of efforts to pretreat the roadways in the area in anticipation of the sleet, rain and cold temperatures.

Cars, 18-wheeler trucks and other vehicles slammed into one another in one of the worst pileups the area has seen. Images from the scene show vehicles piled up, one on top of another and trailers tipped over. “First responders actually had difficulty getting to the vehicles,” said the Fort Worth Fire spokesperson Mike Drivdahl in a statement. “As they were making their way on the freeway to get to those vehicles it is very slippery. We did have to get quite a bit of sand out here. We did everything we could to get as much traction as possible.”

Six people died as a result of the accident, 36 injured and required hospitalization and 65 people sought medical attention.

The Texas Department of Transportation released this statement:

Our thoughts are with the families of those involved in deadly crashes across the state in this tragic winter weather event TxDOT is committed to the safety of drivers. During all winter weather events, TxDOT undertakes proactive, advance measures such as pretreating its roads, which can help prevent ice from sticking to the roadway.

Conditions on roadways can change rapidly, and unfortunately, even with proactive measures the unpredictable and fast-changing severe Texas weather can still result in some ice accumulating.

As we have done since earlier this week, TxDOT will continue to inform drivers on weather and road conditions; encourage them to only travel when necessary; and drive to the conditions on the roadway.

New UK Driving Licenses and Number Plates Remove EU Flag

UK driving licenses and number plates have been given a makeover to signify the beginning of a new chapter for the UK.

To mark the UK’s exit from the EU, the EU flag has been removed from all UK driving licenses and number plate designs, with the first batches issued beginning in January 2021.

While existing licenses and number plates will still be valid, the new versions will be issued to everyone renewing a license or getting one for the first time.

The new designs coincide with the beginning of a number of agreements recently made between the UK and member states for British drivers, making it easier for Britons to drive in the EU when existing restrictions end.

Thanks to these agreements, UK drivers who hold photocard licenses will not need an international driving permit to drive in any of the 27 EU member states, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or Liechtenstein. UK drivers won’t need to display a GB sticker in most EU countries if their number plate has GB or GB with a Union Flag on it.

Although national restrictions are still in place, and people should not be traveling internationally unless for work or other legally permitted reasons, these new arrangements mean that Britons can easily drive in the EU for years to come