Man Caught Using Drones to Smuggle 13 Pounds of Drugs Over the Border

Sunday, 20 August 2017 - 2:37PM
Gadgets
Weird Science
Sunday, 20 August 2017 - 2:37PM
Man Caught Using Drones to Smuggle 13 Pounds of Drugs Over the Border
U.S. Border Patrol via AP
As drones become more prominent outside the military, we're starting to see people get more creative with things they should and shouldn't be using them for. On that "shouldn't" list would be using the gizmos to transport drugs over international borders. 

According to Associated Press, a 25 year-old U.S. citizen named Jorge Edwin Rivera was recently busted for flying a drone over the American-Mexican border, which wasn't a serious offense until Border Patrol discovered the drone had been carrying a whopping 13 pounds of methamphetamine. Which makes for a decidedly sturdy drone, since not all models can hold weights like that.

It wasn't even the first time Rivera had attempted this. 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. After he was found, the meth was found packed into a lunch box, with the drone hidden inside some nearby bushes.


His drone was likely a DJI Matrice 600, which has a maximum weight limit just high enough to smuggle thirteen pounds in a single trip. Drones don't typically get used for this sort of thing, being noisy machines with short battery life and small weight limits, which make bigger shipments impossible. 13 pounds of meth is no small amount, but it hardly makes him a kingpin - the drugs themselves were valued at $46,000 while Rivera claimed he would've been paid $1,000 had the deal gone through.

Still, the idea of using drones for smuggling and other crimes is gradually leaving the realm of science fiction, as drones themselves gradually leave the realm of science fiction. Nowadays, we're seeing everything from drones that can see through walls to drones that can shoot lasers, and it might become more possible to see drones move from simple drug-trafficking to more Oceans Eleven style heists. 

But for now, they just fly a baker's dozen pounds of drugs over the border, since border security only does so much if a drone can just fly over the whole thing.
Science
Technology
Gadgets
Weird Science
No