About two months ago, an article in Times Magazine caught my eye. This article, titled “Drones May Soon Have a New Customer: Drug Cartels”, is just as crazy as it sounds. Let me re-phrase this… the Mexican drug cartels are already attempting to infiltrate the U.S. Border using flying automated drones.
The one thing that this strategy is not, is unexpected. Amazon has been pushing for legislation and commercialization of local air delivery of online bought goods with drones that fly over neighborhoods with efficiency and speed. The cartels, seemingly always a step or two in front of the DEA and feds, have taken a page from Amazon’s book, and for who knows how long. This article only covers one incident, and we believe there are many more similar deliveries being made on a regular basis. So, my next question is, why drones? Isn’t that risky?
The advantages of drone drug delivery
Let’s start off by learning about current drone technology and pricing. They are cheap. Dirt cheap. I can go on Amazon and buy a drone with GPS, ability to carry 1 or 2 pounds, and over 40 minute flight time. This means thar for the low cost of ~$6000, the cartel can send over $20k worth of cocaine, $10+k worth of meth, or even cannabis/cannabis concentrate. Sure, for weed this is maybe questionable, but the other harder drugs, which gain higher profit, it is a great investment. Compared to using a person (much riskier and definitely more expensive), a submarine (risky and expensive), or a boat (risky and expensive)
Unless the government is hiding something, we have little to no defense against this type of border infiltration. Drones are small, and fly at very low altitudes, allowing for a nearly undetectable delivery vehicle. The pre-programmed GPS can be set with a destination point, or manually controlled with a night vision camera for emergency alternate landings. Basically, a drone operator with minimal programming and flight experience could deliver drugs across the border. This could happen hundreds of times per day, and chances are it already is.
Is this the beginning of the drone wars? Is the next step possibly government creation of a Cyberdyne-like drone defense company? Will we weaponize automated drones within our own borders, to protect our borders? I guess only time will tell, but it is certainly an interesting and sometimes scary time to be alive. What do we recommend? Legalization of drugs, of course!