Skip to comments.Predator drone spy plane used in civilian arrests
Posted on 12/10/2011 7:34:07 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
Unmanned aircraft from an Air Force base in North Dakota help local police with surveillance, raising questions that trouble privacy advocates.
Armed with a search warrant, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke went looking for six missing cows on the Brossart family farm in the early evening of June 23. Three men brandishing rifles chased him off, he said.
Janke knew the gunmen could be anywhere on the 3,000-acre spread in eastern North Dakota. Fearful of an armed standoff, he called in reinforcements from the state Highway Patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three other counties.
He also called in a Predator B drone.
As the unmanned aircraft circled 2 miles overhead the next morning, sophisticated sensors under the nose helped pinpoint the three suspects and showed they were unarmed. Police rushed in and made the first known arrests of U.S. citizens with help from a Predator, the spy drone that has helped revolutionize modern warfare.
But that was just the start. Local police say they have used two unarmed Predators based at Grand Forks Air Force Base to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have used Predators for other domestic investigations, officials said.
"We don't use [drones] on every call out," said Bill Macki, head of the police SWAT team in Grand Forks. "If we have something in town like an apartment complex, we don't call them."
The drones belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates eight Predators on the country's northern and southwestern borders to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers. The previously unreported use of its drones to assist local, state and federal law enforcement has occurred without any public acknowledgment or debate.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
“”The drones belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates eight Predators on the country’s northern and southwestern borders to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers.””
Homeland Security is domestic law enforcement. There are some smaller UAV’s that are now being marketed to local law enforcement for aerial surveillance.
This is just bad news. PDs are just amp’ing up weaponry without oversight or justification other than the war on drugs. I don’t care how bad these bad guys were. We’re continuing fast down the police state highway.
“The drones belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection,...”
Only applies to military forces, not pseudo military forces run by the legislative branch of government.
gee, that didn’t take long. the first news release of drones being used in civilian airspace went into rotation just this week.
Coming to a hobby shop near you: ``U.S. Govt to ban all R/C model aircraft which could used to attack drones.``
Next step will be Hellfire missiles.
Clearly the Sheriff needed he'p finding the cows.
There is no surveillance technology yet invented, in any country, that has not used against its citizens (including the USA) - and you can be sure that any future surveillance technology invented, will also be used against citizens of the USA by the US Government.
The best we can hope for is that the citizens do not become so sheep-like that we at least demand clear limits on use of any surveillance technology, and punishment for those Gov’t officials who mis-use it.
It sure would be hard having our Country’s military personnel and equipment used against us as ordered by someone of questionable everything.
Is this why there aren’t that many black helicopter sightings anymore?
Many police forces have made use of helicopters for decades.
can a militia of free citizens get one to fly over DC and keep watch on the denizens who imperil life liberty and property?