Border Agents Watch as Drone Flies 13 Pounds of Meth Into US

Agents recovered the drone and drugs and arrested a 25-year-old man
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2017 2:41 PM CDT

(Newser) – Looks like automation is impacting everyone's livelihoods, even drug smugglers. The Los Angeles Times reports Border Patrol agents arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of importing a controlled substance Aug. 8 in California after watching a drone carrying 13 pounds of meth fly over the border fence from Mexico. Agents at the border heard the drone fly over around 11:30pm and tracked it for more than a mile, according to the AP. The drone led agents to Jose Rivera, who they say was carrying the drugs in a lunch box. Authorities say Rivera admitted to smuggling drugs via drone five or six times since March. The drone—a $5,000, DJI Matrice 600 Pro—was found in a bush near where Rivera was arrested, the Times of San Diego reports.

story continues below

“This is a new method we’re seeing,” Border Patrol supervising agent Mark Endicott says. In a recent annual report, the DEA stated drones aren't often used to smuggle drugs because they can only carry relatively small amounts. They also make a lot of noise and have short battery lives, according to a US attorney. But as technology improves, experts expect to see more drug-laden drones flying over the border in the future. (Read more drug smuggling stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.