It worked for a while, but 25-year-old Jorge Edwin Rivera's alleged use of a drone to smuggle methamphetamine across the border from Mexico caught up with him and led to his arrest Friday, officials say. According to authorities, the agents located the drone's owner with a lunchbox filled with meth and a two-foot drone stashed in a bush.
Rivera confessed to smuggling drugs five or six times, since March, to an accomplice at a gas station in San Diego. He said he was to be paid $1,000 for the attempt that ended in his arrest. He admitted this was the fifth or sixth time he'd used drones to fly drugs into the country, only getting found this time after the drone was tracked to his location, 2,000 yards from the border. According to NBC News, the acting US attorney for the Southern District of California, Alana Robinson, claims that the "Border Patrol is very aware of the potential and are always listening and looking for drones".
Man arrested for attempting to smuggle methamphetamine across border using drone
This is because they are only capable of carrying small amounts and are regarded as less cost-effective than using boats or hidden vehicle compartments. The bevy of drugs was captured on Tuesday, August 8, when a border patrol agent saw a remote-controlled drone flying over the border fence at approximately 11:30 p.m.in the evening. But the Border Patrol agent gazed at the drone's flight pattern and alerted other agents to watch for the drone coming their way.
Rivera has been remanded in custody and his next hearing is scheduled for September 7.