The influx of commercially available drone technology has introduced a slew of challenges for American military and law enforcement officials.  Iranian drones have interrupted flight operations aboard U.S. aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, Frankenstein-like drones fielded by the Islamic State have carried out suicide missions or dropped explosives on coalition fighters, and now, drones are being used to ferry large amounts of drugs, like methamphetamine, over the border from Mexico.

Jorge Edwin Rivera, a 25-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested on August 8th for using a drone to carry a whopping 13 pounds of methamphetamine into the United States from Mexico.  While it isn’t particularly unusual for law enforcement to intercept drugs making their way across the border by way of remote-controlled aircraft, the sheer amount of meth carried by the drone makes this instance stand out as an indicator of how quickly these challenges are mounting.

Rivera told law enforcement that he has used similar methods to smuggle large amounts of methamphetamine over the border “five or six times” since March, usually delivering them to an accomplice at a gas station in San Diego.  He was paid $1,000 for each attempt.

Agents from the U.S. Border Patrol reportedly saw the drone in flight and followed it approximately 2,000 yards beyond the Mexican border.  By the time they reached Rivera, he had hidden the drone, as well as the thirteen pounds of drugs, in a nearby bush.