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Drone smuggler sentenced to 12 years in prison for flying meth over the border

February 11, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Drone smuggler sentenced to 12 years in prison for flying meth over the border

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A federal district court judge sentenced a drone smuggler to 12 years in prison for attempting to remotely fly 13 pounds of methamphetamine over the border into the United States

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) press release, a jury convicted 25-year-old Jorge Rivera following a trial last week.

Rivera was sentenced to 12-years in federal prison as a result of the guilty verdict.

Border Patrol agents arrested Rivera in August 2017 after he remotely operated a drone to smuggle 13 pounds of methamphetamine over the California border from Mexico.

Officials said Border Patrol agents observed Rivera flying the drone over the border fence approximately two miles west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

CBP agents on all-terrain vehicles located the drone smuggler on foot in the proximity carrying a large bag filled with bundles of methamphetamine.

Officers recovered the small drone nearby beneath some brush.

“We appreciate the determination, persistence, and hard work of all law enforcement partners involved in the case. The United States Attorney’s Office and its diligent efforts have resulted in a successful prosecution and conviction, and a sentencing that should deter this type of criminal activity in the future,” Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Roy D. Villareal said following the sentencing.

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