Local company creates new technology to help detect drugs being smuggled into state, country

BURLINGTON, Mass. — One local company in Burlington is doing its part to limit the amount of drugs coming into the state and country as Massachusetts continues to struggle to fight growing drug problems like the opioid crisis.

We’ve seen the nationwide drug epidemic hit local communities, but we don’t see a lot of solutions. The Burlington-based company Viken believes they have one.

Up until now officials have relied mostly on cameras, mirrors and canine teams to look for drugs and other contraband, but they can now use Viken’s Osprey under-vehicle x-ray and handheld imagers.

“The x-rays are being used to penetrate the steel,” said Jim Ryan, the CEO of Viken. “Organics are being reflected back and you are able to see the drug packages very clearly.”

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“Gas tanks, drive shafts are a great place to hide stuff, extremely difficult to search,” said Robert Watt, the now-retired director of Customs and Border Patrol. “How do you search a gas tank? The only way to do that is to put it up on a lift [and] take it down. You’re talking an hour.”

Viken has already sold hundreds of units to law enforcement around the country, including Massachusetts State Police and Customs and Border Protection.

“It’s difficult to detect on a regular x-ray if you have three to four people in the car,” Watt said. “You cannot get a good shot underneath the seat because you cannot go through the bodies. Four new systems are going out on the southern border for tests.”

Viken feels federal, state and local agencies will now be able to catch almost all illegal weapons, drugs, cash and other threats concealed in vehicles and even homes.