Drones Are Officially Big Enough to Smuggle Drugs Across the Border

August 23, 2017

12:20 pm

Let’s be honest; technology has a tendency to cause more problems than it solves. From Twitter providing trolls with a platform to spread hate to artificial intelligence plotting the demise of the entire human race, innovation doesn’t always lead to a better world. And if you thought drones were going to remain the chaste device of the future, we’ve got some bad news for you.

According to authorities, police have arrested a 25-year-old man in San Diego for trying to smuggle approximately $46,000 worth of methamphetamine across the border with a DJI Matrice 600 drone. The two foot tall drone, capable of carrying a 33-pound load, was confiscated by the police, along with the 13-pound bag of meth that it had hauled nearly 2000 yards. The authorities visually spotted the drone, which helped them to apprehend the suspect.

“Due to the agents’ heightened vigilance, this drone smuggling scheme was stopped before these dangerous narcotics could enter our communities,” said Boone Smith, acting assistant chief patrol agent.

While drones seems like the perfect alternative to catapulting drugs over the border fence or tunneling through Tijuana, the technology hasn’t allowed the unmanned aerial vehicles to carry enough weight to make the drug smuggling practice financially viable. Sure, they have been used to drop contraband into prison yards on more than one occasion, but that hardly makes for an effective drug smuggler.

However, thanks to recent advancements in the tech,  drones can now carry staggeringly large amounts of cargo, and they aren’t exactly picky about what you attach to them. And that, says one official, is the really scary thing about the tech.

“It’s an absolute threat,” said Chris Gautz, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections to WoodTV. “This is a nightmare scenario: drones with the capability to drop packages — whether they contain drugs, cell phones, weapons, all the bad things you can think of.”

To be clear, when I say “recent advancements in the tech,” I’m mostly referring to the gargantuan size of the drone in question. Seen below, the drone looks like it would have no trouble carrying an entire drug dealer, let alone a few pounds of meth.

DJI MATRICE 600. BIG DRONE 👍 #djimatrice600

A post shared by رباتیک آسمان (@aseman_robotic) on

While this arrest might cause concern, worry, and even fear of drone technology, it’s important to remember all the good drones do for the world. From improving safety measures on construction sites to taking awesome pictures of the eclipse, there’s no denying these modern day marvels are doing a lot more good than bad. Plus, with counter-drone technology being developed around the world, it’s only a matter of time before Border Patrol is equipped to take any and all drug smuggling drones out of the sky with ease.

Read more about the future on drones on TechCo 

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.

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