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Drone smuggling meth into the U.S. crashes near border

Posted at 5:57 PM, Jan 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-22 17:57:39-05

SAN YSIDRO, Ca. -- Drug smugglers have reached new heights. The idea to use a drone to carry drugs into the U.S.  fell flat when the drone crashed.

Tijuana Police discovered a drone when they answered a call of an object falling from the sky; a drone carrying more than six pounds of meth. The caller saw the drone land in a parking lot just southeast of the San Ysidro Border Crossing.

Brian Yates runs Drones Made Easy in downtown San Diego. It's a company that sells and repairs drones.

He was shocked to hear the news but said “it was only a matter of time before someone tried something like this.”

Tijuana police said they don't know who was trying to get the meth over the border or who was going to pick up the illegal cargo near the crossing.

Yates said the drone that crashed is similar to one called The Spreading Wings Model, made by a company in china.

It has a total take-off weight of 18 pounds, max.

The drone is made to carry small cameras for area photography, and more than six pounds of crystal meth was probably too much. The six-propeller drone is controlled by a remote device and uses batteries.

“There's a lot of modifications that can be made, there's some that try to modify the radios to have a larger range,” Yates said.

Fox 5 did receive a statement from Amy Roderick of the Drug Enforcement Agency in San Diego which read, “we would not call using drones a new trend in smuggling… this method will only allow a small amount of drugs to be flown at a time and coupled with the ease of detection, does not make this method very profitable to these drug trafficking organizations.”