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Drug cartels making use of large drones to smuggle drugs over the border

August 22, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Drug cartels making use of large drones to smuggle drugs over the border

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Mexican drug cartels are increasingly utilizing massive drones to carry narcotics loads over the border to avoid detection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents.

Last week, a U.S. citizen was busted attempting to fly a drone carrying a 13-pound load of meth over the border from Mexico to San Diego.

Authorities arrested 25-year-old Jorge Edwin Rivera over the weekend 2,000 yards from the border after spotting his drone in flight.

CBP agents seized the massive drug stash — 13 pounds worth an estimated street value of $46,000 along with the drone, CBP officials said.

DJI MATRICE 600. BIG DRONE 👍 #djimatrice600

A post shared by رباتیک آسمان (هلیشات- ربات) (@aseman_robotic) on

Although drones have been utilized in the past to carry drugs over the border, they haven’t been the preferred method for smugglers because they could only carry lighter loads.

However, technology advancements now allow traffickers to move heavier drug packages, Mashable reported.

In Rivera’s case, he used a professional grade drone for the heavy drug load, unlike previous less pretentious attempts.

Rivera used a hulking DJI Matrice 600 drone, which stands 2 feet in height, which gives a smuggler the ability to carry a 33-pound load, according to DJI’s specifications.

Film makers often utilize large drones attach with heavy camera rigs to film area shots.

Flying with DJI Matrice 600, Ronin MX and Sony Alpha 7 S II #overdronefilm #overdrone #dji #djim600 #djimatrice600 #djironinmx #roninmx #sony #sonyalpha7sii #zeiss #work #shooting

A post shared by Overdrone Film (@overdrone_film) on

Authorities believe the method could become a more viable option for drug cartels because of the affordability and availability of drones such as the DJI Matrice 600, which costs $5,000.

Smaller drones have increasingly been used to smuggle illegal contraband into prisons.

As JammedUp reported,  Michigan police arrested three suspects last week after a smaller hobby drone was caught dropping a package of marijuana, a mobile phone, and a razor blade into a prison yard.

It was the third time in the past 12 months a drone was discovered dropping contraband by Michigan prison officers.

In the previous two cases, authorities failed to recover the drones and couldn’t trace them back to owners.

A Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman said drones had introduced a whole new method of smuggling goods. “[Drone operators] can be miles away. Those are the things that keep us up at night and keep us thinking of new ways to stop them.”

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