California Parents Used Drone to Deliver Drugs to Church Parking Lot

Elegant palm trees hang over the symmetrical lawns of the peachy homes lining Chesapeake Lane in the Orangecrest neighborhood of Riverside, California. But on December 21, according to the Riverside Police Department, a noisy, small-fry drone, rigged to accommodate payloads of illegal drugs, whirred out of a backyard, crossed the street, flew over a block, and delivered a package to customers waiting in a nearby church parking lot. Neighbors weren’t the only ones who noticed. Tipped-off narcotics officers saw the deal go down, and subsequently arrested Benjamin Baldassarre and Ashley Carroll, the father and step-mom of a 9-year-old girl, on suspicion of flying the drone from their residence on the 8700 block of Chesapeake to distribute drugs to customers in the area. For a few years now, Motherboard has reported on the rise of remotely-piloted drug smuggling—we’ve seen various hacked and homemade drones used by drug cartels to deliver cocaine over the Mexico-US border, by over-the-wall accomplices dropping contraband to inmates in prisons from Australia to Canada, and by Lithuanian mobsters slipping cigarettes into Russia

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