A smuggler’s drone flying from Mexico crash-landed just south of the U.S. border city of San Ysidro, California, in a failed drug delivery this week, the Tijuana Municipal Police said.
The incident showed that smugglers aren’t just going underground any more, using tunnels beneath the U.S.-Mexico border to transport drugs and migrants.
Now the smugglers are trying to do business by air, too, in unmanned aerial vehicles.
The drone was loaded with more than 6 pounds of the synthetic drug crystal meth, Tijuana police said.
The drone crashed Tuesday night in a supermarket parking lot in Tijuana.
Apparently the smugglers became too greedy, authorities said.
The silver and black, six-propeller Spreading Wings S900 model was not able to withstand the weight of the load and crashed, police said.
“In San Diego, the street value, at last account, for a 6-pound load would be about $48,000,” DEA Special Agent Matt Barden said. “Once you get it across the border, that stuff’s like gold.”
This wasn’t the first time a drone was used in a smuggling attempt from Mexico, according to drug war analysts, U.S. officials and local Mexican police.
But the incident amplified concerns about border security and officers’ safety.