Drug-Smuggling Drones Are Dropping Cargo In San Diego Neighborhoods

In October of 2020 south San Diego residents began noticing heavy drone activity above their homes. Residents of the Coral Gates community in San Ysidro report that they "see them all the time." They've also noticed people sitting in parked cars, for hours at a time, who appear to be waiting for something.

The distance between Tijuana and San Ysidro is within the range of most commercial drones, making it easy for illegal contraband like cocaine, meth and other substances to enter the U.S. In recent months, a drone transporting narcotics was recovered in the area when it suffered a malfunction.

Combatting the drone issue is a priority for the Border Partrol, who are asking residents to report suspicious activity, whether in the sky or on the streets. Agent Justin Castrejon, said “What you might think is innocent activity could be drug smuggling activity: cars parked, drones flying overhead. That could very well be a drug-smuggling event happening right in your neighborhood.”

The agency has created a hotline that residents can use to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous, and the information they provided will be used to dispatch agents quickly to investigate the report.

The hotline number is (619) 498-9900

Homeland Security Special Agent Chris Davis added, “We need the public to be our eyes and ears, so it’s absolutely essential when you see something like this we want you to call.”

“It’s very important to follow up on these investigations to see what kind of evidence we can recover and use it to disrupt and dismantle organizations that are operating on the other side of the border from us,” David said.

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