Mexican cartels are using drones to carry out drug trafficking in the U.S. and evade police control, according to a report by Judicial Watch on April 12.
A senior U.S. Homeland Security official revealed that Mexican cartels have conducted more than 9,000 drone flights over the U.S. in 2021 to monitor the movements of federal, state, county and city agencies near the Mexican border, including the U.S. Border Patrol, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas National Guard, county sheriffs and local police.
The Border Patrol, which operates under Customs and Border Protection (CBP), found about a dozen drones and accessed their guidance and memory systems.
Judicial Watch discovered that Mexican cartel drones were flying over the southern U.S. border following interviews with federal officials in the Border Patrol Sector in Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
Federal officials mentioned that the cartels use unmanned surveillance flights to identify security gaps in border areas and create a detour to move sensitive cargo for human smuggling and drug trafficking.
Brandon Judd, president of the union representing the nation’s 20,000 Border Patrol agents, said “They are dropping fentanyl,” Judd said this week. “They fly into certain locations, drop them to the ground and fentanyl is taken off of them and they take back off into Mexico.”
In 2018, a border agent in El Paso reported that he could observe, with an infrared camera, a drone flying from Mexico into the U.S., go approximately 90 meters and return to Mexico. Breitbart said the drone made its journey three times before ten migrants crossed the border.
Following the drone’s surveillance, El Paso authorities reported that police on patrol in southern New Mexico apprehended a man from El Salvador hiding a group of Central American migrants. Among the ten individuals entering the country illegally was a Salvadoran national with a criminal record that included a 2014 conviction for “contact with a minor for a sex offense” and Chavez-Ibarra, a 46-year-old Mexican citizen with two prior convictions for re-entry into the U.S., a conviction for carjacking in Houston and several arrests for burglary, cocaine possession and felony burglary.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandobal Gonzalez also revealed in 2021 that the Jalisco Cartel—New Generation uses drones with explosives to attack police in Jalisco, Guanajuato and Michoacan, reported El Universal.
The Jalisco Mexican Cartel—New Generation controls an estimated one-third of the illegal drugs entering the U.S. and has used drones with explosives attached to them since 2017. These devices are guided like small homemade missiles and were initially used against other gangs, but were later used to attack police, reported Forbes, through El Universal.