Drone with a kilo of meth crashes on roof of business in San Ysidro, California

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 “MX” for Borderland Beat

The drone was seized on Sunday (source: @USBPChiefSDC)

Border patrol agents found a drone Sunday with a kilogram of meth taped to it on top of a business in San Ysidro, a San Diego district just north of the border with Mexico. Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke shared photos of the drone and drugs on Twitter. He said someone called Border Patrol to report a drone crashed on the roof of a business close to the border.

“I see them all the time,” one neighbor said. “I also see people in cars that just sit there for hours, it looks strange.” Agents said using drones to smuggle drugs isn’t uncommon, but they’re seeing a slight uptick in recent months.

“They are using the cover of night mostly to smuggle illegal contraband into the U.S.,” Agent Justin Castrejon said. The illegal cargo can be cocaine, meth and other substances. Border Patrol is asking residents to report any sightings, in the sky and on their streets.

Background 

Residents say that since October, they’ve been seeing more and more drones flying over their homes in Coral Gates, a small community in San Ysidro, Calif., just north of the international border with Mexico. Its distance from the city of Tijuana can easily be covered by a drone, especially at night.

The operator of the drone could be in Mexico or could be here in the U.S.” said Castrejon. 

“What you might think is innocent activity could be drug smuggling activity: cars parked, drones flying overhead. That could very well be a drug-smuggling event happening right in your neighborhood,” Castrejon said.

“We’re up against entities that know how to leverage these type of commodities and will exploit that,” said Homeland Security Investigator Chris Davis. “It’s very important to follow up on these investigations to see what kind of evidence we can recover and use it to disrupt and dismantle organizations that are operating on the other side of the border from us.”

Davis also stressed the need for the public to get involved. “We need the public to be our eyes and ears, so it’s absolutely essential when they see something like this we want you to call,” said Davis.

The Border Patrol has set up a hotline for people to call and report any suspicious activity. It’s anonymous, and according to Castrejon, they will dispatch agents right away to investigate people’s concerns. 

Sources: Fox5San Diego (1); (2)


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