Drones Technology United States

Breaking Bot – Crystal meth carrying drone crashes during attempted Mexico/US border crossing


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

January 22, 2015 | 2 min read

A small, commercially available drone has crashed in Tijuana while attempting to smuggle three kilos of crystal meth into the US, with Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) claiming such cases are becoming more common.

The unmanned craft hit terra firma while trying to smuggle the meth-amphetamines over the border, with the DEA claiming there have been 150 drone-based smuggling attempts originating in Mexico since 2012.

US sanctioned watchdog Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Tijuana published photos of the crashed drone on Facebook.

The drone was identified as a Spread Wings 900 Hexacopter, which can be purchased on Amazon for $1,400. Mexican and US police have launched an investigation into who was piloting the craft - citing the craft's weight as the probable cause of the crash.

Drones have legitimate commercial benefits with Amazon among many companies testing the devices in the US for product delivery purposes.

However, the frequency of drone smuggling on the US/Mexico border brings into question the need to regulate drones. In December it emerged that an Airbus A320 carrying 180 people from Heathrow suffered a near collision with a drone which could have resulting in serious damage to the aircraft.

Furthermore, last year during a Euro 2016 fixture between Albania and Serbia, a drone carrying the flag of the disputed ‘Greater Albania’ region sparked a riot forcing the postponement of the match.

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