A First: U.S. Border Patrol Confiscates Drugs Dropped by Drone in Arizona

By Susan Jones | January 13, 2016 | 11:39am EST
Workers demonstrate the use of an octocopter-style drone for power line inspections at a New York Power Authority site in the Catskills, near Blenheim, N.Y. (AP File Photo/Mary Esch)

(CNSNews.com) - U.S. Border agents say they confiscated around 31 pounds of marijuana dropped in the Arizona desert by a drone late last year.

The Nov. 16 incident is the "first drone drug incursion" detected by Customs and Border Protection, the agency announced on Tuesday.

Agents at the Yuma Station watched an OctoCopter-style drone illegally enter U.S. airspace near San Luis, Arizona from Rio Colorado, Mexico and "jettison a bundle."

Using night vision goggles, the Border Patrol Agents followed the drone to its drop point, where three bundles of marijuana -- weighing around ten pounds each -- were discovered along the bank of a canal, the news release said.

The drugs had an estimated value of $15,430, said the Border Patrol.

CBP says its "highly effective enforcement techniques" have forced smugglers to "redirect their efforts."

“As a result, they experiment with different techniques in an attempt to bring narcotics and other harmful contraband into the United States," Chief Patrol Agent Anthony J. Porvaznik said.

"This means we must adapt and meet these new challenges.  Our agents’ vigilance was responsible for detecting this particular drone event, but we always encourage members of the public to assist our efforts by contacting the Border Patrol upon seeing suspicious activity.”

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