This undated photo provided by the US Customs and Border Protection shows a 0.61m-high drone that a border patrol agent spotted swooping over the border fence on August 8, 2017 near a San Diego border crossing (via AP)
President Trump's proposed wall along the US-Mexico border is stupid for many reasons. But one of the most obvious reasons is that it's really easy to get over the wall using modern technology. That's precisely what an American man did recently when he tried to smuggle 6kg of meth from Mexico using a hobby drone.
The Associated Press reports that an American citizen by the name of Jorge Edwin Rivera has been arrested for transporting methamphetamine into the country using the drone pictured above. Rivera has reportedly told authorities that he's done it roughly half a dozen times since March, completely undetected. His latest haul was 6kg, an unusually large shipment.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents spotted the drone near the existing border fence (yes, the US already has walls along the border) at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, close to San Diego. They followed the drone to Rivera, who allegedly had large plastic-wrapped bags of meth on him. Rivera, who's 25-years-old was just 1,828.80m from the border.
It's unclear how many trips the drone needed to conduct in order to smuggle that much meth over the border. Photos released by CBP suggest that this haul would have been the exact weight limit for a single flight. The drone Rivera allegedly used looks like a DJI Matrice 600, which has a payload limit of just over 6kg.
This undated photo provided by US Customs and Border Protection shows 12 packages of methamphetamine that were confiscated from a US citizen after a border patrol agent spotted a remote-controlled drone swooping over the border fence August 8, 2017 at a border crossing near San Diego (via AP)
"Due to the agents' heightened vigilance, this drone smuggling scheme was stopped before these dangerous narcotics could enter our communities," said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Boone Smith in a statement.
The meth has a street value of roughly $US46,000 ($58,015), according to CBP. Rivera is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned September 7th. The suspect reportedly told police that he receives just $US1,000 ($1,261) for taking such a huge risk in smuggling drugs into the country.
If President Trump is really serious about stopping drugs from crossing the US-Mexico border and he insists that a wall is the only answer, he's going to need a bigger wall. Like 2.5km bigger. That's the altitude limit for the DJI Matrice 600 drone. Best of luck, Mr. President.