$1,400 Drone Carrying Crystal Meth Crashes at the Border (PHOTOS)

$1,400 Drone Carrying Crystal Meth Crashes at the Border (PHOTOS)
L.A. Weekly

It seems that technology's edgiest uses will be discovered first by the world of vice. Anyone who's been on the Internet knows that.

Narcotics traffickers might have discovered a new way to smuggle drugs. This vehicle is ideal for narco syndicates because there's nobody on-board to arrest (or to testify).

A drone carrying about 6 pounds of crystal methamphetamine crashed just inside the Mexican side of the United States border at Tijuana on Tuesday night, authorities said. The weight of the drugs might have brought the drone out of the sky prematurely.

Law enforcement sources said the crash was unprecedented.

The downed device was reported at 9 p.m. in the parking lot a Zona Rio neighborhood supermarket and strip mall that abuts the busiest border crossing in the world, said a Baja California state official who did not want his name published.

The six-propeller, lithium-battery powered drone was a 35-inch wide Spreading Wings 900 by DJI, he said. It lists online for about $1,400. DJI says the device is intended for use by professional filmmakers.

$1,400 Drone Carrying Crystal Meth Crashes at the Border (PHOTOS)
L.A. Weekly
$1,400 Drone Carrying Crystal Meth Crashes at the Border (PHOTOS)EXPAND
The Zona Rio-area strip mall, via L.A. Weekly

The meth came in six packages that had a combined weight of slightly less than three kilos, the official said. The packages were taped together.

Tijuana's Office of Public Security stated that the drone probably crashed as a result of too much weight. Authorities suspect the drugs were headed for the U.S. side. The San Diego community off San Ysidro is just a stone's throw from where the aircraft was found.

Authorities believe the use of a drone to smuggle drugs was a first for the area.

The state official said no one witnessed the crash but that someone eventually spotted the downed aircraft and called authorities.

With reporting from the author's father, Fernando Romero, in San Diego.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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