$1,400 drone carrying 6 pounds of crystal meth crashes at US/Mexico border


well, probably not the first, just the first one that failed and was discovered.


The drug-running industry has a long history of overloading their vehicles with illicit cargo. Unfortunately for this group, the weight limit of a hexacopter is much less elastic than that of an E-350 van.


Seems like a conventional rc plane would be a better candidate. Load capacity, flight time, noise, etc


From my understanding the 4-rotor drones and their like are a lot easier to pilot and they don’t need a takeoff runway which is probably handy if you’re using areas along the border that are undeveloped and rough.

Personally, I’d try building a pumpkin chunkin’ rig for delivering my dope, or any kind of mortar.


The video says 5kg of equipment … which is around 11 lbs I reckon.


I work with a group of high school students that have made such a thing, but have only used it for contests. Hmmm…

Party’s over

Sounds like it just got started.


What about a long-range delivery using a combination of a balloon and a GPS-guided glider?

Such assembly can be designed with a very low radar cross-section, and interception could become a pretty difficult task.

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Good thing the error happened in a blog post, not a Mars orbiter…


So those of us who are brainstorming better ways for the cartels to do this:

How would you feel if they adopted your method and succeeded with it?

/I gotta’ admit I’d kinda be thrilled.


Okay, technically that drone doesn’t cost $1,400. It’s $1,400 + $1200 for a flight controller (navigation + flight computer; not the “transmitter” thing you hold) + $330 for a 16 amp Lithium Polymer battery.

So that’s definitely not $1,400.

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Payload is 5 kg, not 5 lb. The $1400 cost does not include the remote control to fly it.

Where do you see that the drone was being piloted? Perhaps it was flung over the wall via catapult?


Yeah, there’s no way this hasn’t been happening for a while. And since they have no way to detect these things, it was only when one crashed that it was going to be found.


Sure, a van holds a lot more, but there’s almost zero risk of being caught with a drone. When it succeeds, no one even knows it’s happening, and even when it fails utterly, no one is around to get caught.

Actually the guy in the promo video says it can carry ‘almost 5 kilos’ of equipment … that’s considerably more than 6 pounds.

the weight limit of -this- hexacopter…

You could also make a van, out of weed?


I suspect the cost of the drone is trivial relative to the value of the product.

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The deeper the you-cannot-win is rubbed into the faces of the Authorities, the better. They can legalize the stuff and end the war in few days.

…and if you are an engineer and there is a war, you can always make money on weapons.