Drone Carrying Pounds of Heroin, GPS Tracker Captured After Flying Over Border in Arizona

A drone carrying several pounds of heroin and a GPS tracker was recently captured after flying over the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.

The Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) border patrol in Yuma, Arizona posted a picture of the captured drone on Facebook on Tuesday. The "small-unmanned aircraft" was carrying six-and-a-half pounds of heroin across the border in Yuma, according to the agency.

In addition to the heroin, Border Patrol agents also discovered that the drone was equipped with a GPS tracker placed inside the package of narcotics.

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"Such packages of hard narcotics are often equipped with trackers to allow smugglers waiting on the northern side of the border to easily locate the packages after they are dropped," Yuma Border Patrol officials said in the Facebook post.

After the drone was captured, it was transported to CBP's Yuma Station for processing, along with the "payload" of heroin, according to the post.

This is not the first time Border Patrol agents have seized narcotics carried by drones across the border into the U.S.

CBP said that between April 29 and May 3 of last year, Border Patrol agents working in the Yuma Sector intercepted drones carrying narcotics on two separate occasions. The agency revealed in a press release that one drone flew over the border and dropped a package containing 463 grams of methamphetamine, which they said had an estimated street value of $3,000.

The second incident occurred a few days later on May 2, 2020, when "individuals in Mexico launched a drone that entered U.S. airspace and dropped multiple packages." Border Patrol agents were able to intercept ten packages dropped by the drone, which they said contained 11 kilograms of cocaine, with an approximate street value of $306,000.

Another similar incident happened in February of this year when Border Patrol agents in San Diego discovered a crashed drone that was carrying methamphetamine. Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke posted a picture of the drone on Twitter and said that it crashed "on the roof of a local business along the border in San Ysidro," which is close to the U.S.-Mexico Border.

Sunday morning, #BorderPatrol agents were alerted to the presence of a crashed drone on the roof of a local business along the border in San Ysidro. The drone had 1 kilo of meth taped to it. Agents are investigating the incident. pic.twitter.com/7GJ3f8PdnK

— Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke (@USBPChiefSDC) February 16, 2021

"The drone had 1 kilo of meth taped to it. Agents are investigating the incident," Heitke wrote in the tweet.

In January, Border Patrol Agent Justin Castrejon told KSWB-TV in San Diego that, "in recent months we're seeing a slight uptick with the use of the drones."

"They are using the cover of night mostly to smuggle illegal contraband into the U.S," Castrejon told the local news station.

Newsweek was directed to the Facebook post after reaching out for further comment.

Drone
A drone carrying heroin and equipped with a GPS tracker was recently captured by border patrol agents after flying over the border in Arizona. Above, a drone is flown for recreational purposes in the sky above Old Bethpage, New York, on August 30, 2015. Bruce Bennett/Getty