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New tech gadget lets sheriff's scan vehicles for drugs

Residents in Nebraska who are ever stopped in cars by police or other law enforcement officers should always understand their rights when it comes to the questions asked and to potentially having their vehicles searched. While certainly officers are able to investigate potential crimes or illegal actions, suspected defendants also have rights and in these situations. Now, there are new ways that law enforcement might perform searches and this may be a big game changer for many.

The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office has recently obtained and begun using a special scanner that is able to detect drugs, money and other substances even if hidden in special compartments or behind custom-built trap doors in cars, trucks and other vehicles. Reports indicate that in one situation, the x-ray machine is said to have led officers to discover methamphetamine and in another stop cocaine.

The scanner is relatively lightweight and therefore very portable, making its use simple in virtually any location. One important fact is that an officer is only legally allowed to use the x-ray on a stopped, not a moving, vehicle. Additionally, the scanning can only take place after a police dog has provided probable cause that drugs may be on board or after officers have obtained consent from the driver.

Drivers in Nebraska who have been accused of a drug crime after a vehicular search might want to talk with a lawyer to learn about the legalities of the search that led to their arrest.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "New X-ray allows Nebraska police to better spot drugs," October 28, 2017

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