It is no longer news that drones are increasingly used to smuggle drugs. But the fact that even the smallest drones are being used for this purpose is startling. In fact, even the DJI Mini 2, a drone that weighs only 249 grams, is now being used to transport drugs over the border wall between Mexico and the United States. The drone appears to be able to carry more than its own weight in drugs.
The incident took place on 7 October 2021. An agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) happened to see a small drone with a package attached fly over the border and land on a car park. There, the mini-drone was picked up by a man in a grey Mercedes. The officer was able to intervene just in time and prevent the man from driving off with the drone and its suspicious payload.
Attached to the DJI Mini 2 - which itself weighs 249 grams - was a package with a total of 259 grams of crystal meth. The illegal payload was thus heavier than the drone itself, a remarkable fact in itself. The DEA has investigated the incident and is trying to find out who the responsible drone pilot was. It is not clear whether DJI has been asked to cooperate with the investigation.
On large parts of the border between Mexico and the United States, there is currently a wall almost 10 metres high. To smuggle drugs across the border, gangs increasingly use commercially available drones.