Wisconsin investigation turns up slot machine jamming device from overseas: CPB

EMP generators create electromagnetic pulses to disrupt electronics

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Wisconsin recently seized a slot machine jamming device while inspecting a shipment from Hong Kong

CBP officers made the discovery at the Milwaukee Port of Entry on Feb. 4, the agency said in a press release

An EMP slot machine jamming device. 

An EMP slot machine jamming device.  (CBP)

The ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP) devices, which are prohibited by the Federal Communication Commission, are used to "jam" the inner workings of a slot machine. 

EMP generators create electromagnetic pulses to disrupt electronics from about a meter’s range, according to CBP. The devices send an electric current through a magnetic field – often with a magnetic copper wire. 

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CBP said the shipment was manifested as a car adapter from an electronics supplier in Hong Kong and was heading for a residence in Mosinee – about 175 miles northwest of Milwaukee. 

Port Milwaukee

Port Milwaukee (uwm.edu)

"There are a variety of nefarious ways these tools can be used," LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director of Field Operations-Chicago said in a statement. "These types of jammers are prohibited by federal law because they can be used to interfere with radio communications, cellular phones, GPS’s, and other communication devices." 

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CBP officers at the Port of Milwaukee Express Consignment Operations facility inspected the shipment and sent it to the Federal Bureau of Investigations Headquarters’ Mechanical Engineering Division for further analysis.