• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Mexican Cartels Fly 9,000 Drones over the United States to Surveillance Law Enforcement Events

Mexican Cartels Fly 9,000 Drones over the United States to Surveillance Law Enforcement Events

Mexican drug cartels have conducted more than 9,000 drone flights into American airspace in the last year to spy on American law enforcement and security operations along the southern border, according to a senior Homeland Security official. Federal, state, county, and city agencies near the Mexican border, including the US Border Patrol and Texas Department of Public Safety, as well as county sheriffs and local police forces are all under surveillance. The Border Patrol, a suborganization of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), has seized around a dozen drones. By accessing the guidance and memory systems of these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), they have obtained critical intelligence data, as stated by a high-ranking official from the agency.

Recently, Judicial Watch visited the southern border and discovered that Mexican cartels are flying drones into U.S. territory. After interviewing federal officials at the CBP Rio Grande Valley sector in Texas, they decided to investigate further by filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with CBP, the 60,000-member agency charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S., for all records regarding the use of drone use by criminal organizations operating along the US-Mexico border for the purpose of surveilling United States law enforcement officials or otherwise facilitating illegal activity. The federal public-record request covers, but is not limited to, all information relating to the known or predicted number of instances in which such technology is used, as well as all reports, intelligence assessments, analyses, and similar records concerning its usage.

Judicial Watch was granted access to a number of documents and interviews by Federal officials in which illegal aliens describe their experiences attempting to enter the United States. According to officials on the ground, cartels utilize UAV surveillance flights to help facilitate human smuggling and drug trafficking. They assist the cartels in identifying gaps in border coverage, allowing them to overwhelm certain areas, creating a diversion for moving sensitive or high-value goods through alternative border crossing points. Data from the confiscated drones has also given U.S. authorities other classified information about law enforcement that cannot be released to the public, government sources said. They added that drug cartels began using the devices a few years ago. Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council which represents 20,000 agents in the United States says that some drones are being used to smuggle drugs like Fentanyl across borders. “They fly into certain locations, drop them to the ground and fentanyl is taken off of them and they take back off into Mexico.” Although these drones are not military grade according to Judd, they’re still classified as “run of the mill” because they can be purchased anywhere.

The first reports of Mexican cartels using UAVs to further their illegal activities surfaced only three years ago. Agents in the El Paso sector stated that they had seen what appeared to be the first use of a drone by a Mexican cartel. This “look-out” was 750 miles from the Rio Grande Valley. CBP officials from the El Paso sector are quoted as saying that agents “discover a new technique in counter surveillance,” regarding the UAV.

According to the article, an agent monitoring the border with an infrared camera saw the drone flying north into the United States from Mexico. According to Mexico’s biggest newspaper, last year some of the nation’s most well-known cartels used drones with explosives to attack law enforcement in western Mexico. In 2018, an academic study found that not only do cartels use drones to scope out Border Patrol agents, but they also use them to warn drug runners of agent positions. Researchers turned their focus onto militarized drones for border security and how non-state actors develop drone surveillance capacities for their own self-serving motives.

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