Breaking drones: Drug-laden drone crashes near US-Mexico border

22 Jan 2015

An image of the crashed drug drone. Image via Facebook/Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Tijuana

A 21st-century drug mule – in the form of a drone – came to an unfortunate end as it crashed at the US-Mexico border after failing to carry the weight of six packets of cocaine and crystal meth.

The drone’s operator had attempted to bypass the strict border control between the two countries by flying the small six-bladed device over the expansive border wall, but failed to grasp the capabilities of the drone’s max payload. The device, with six packets of drugs weighing just under 3kg, crashed in a supermarket car park on Tuesday.

According to the Associated Press, police in the city of Tijuana, Mexico, near the California border, are now investigating where the flight originated and who was controlling the device.


Another photo of crashed drone. Image via Facebook/Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Tijuana

The Tijuana police’s spokesperson, Jorge Morrua, said this is not an uncommon occurrence in recent years, what with the growth in consumer drone purchases. Reports from last year indicate the number of drones crossing the US-Mexico border numbers more than 100 annually.

In a statement posted to Facebook showing images of the crashed drone, the Tijuana police said they are finding drug traffickers are constantly adapting to the latest technology to be able to get their drugs across the border, and currently drones remain the safest and most affordable option for them.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic