Couple Used Drones To Deliver Drugs, Police Say

By Bryan Le 01/02/18

During a raid, police found the couple's nine-year-old child living in the reportedly drug-filled house. 

Modern technological delivery innovation - drone fast delivery concept, two multicopters flying with cardboard box above city
Drones flying highs in the sky.

While several retailers and services have investigated drone delivery, one California couple stands accused of using their own drone delivery model for their drug-dealing business. Benjamin Baldassarre, 39, and Ashley Carroll, 31, had charges passed down to them after allegedly dealing drugs and flying products to their customers via drone from their home.

To top it all off, Baldassarre’s nine-year-old daughter was living in the house as well, reportedly surrounded by drugs.

The couple has been charged with possession of controlled substances for sale, child endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police began investigating the Orangecrest neighborhood, where the couple allegedly carried out their high-tech operations, after someone reported sighting a drone flying around and dropping drugs off to their clientele.

“Our detectives did go out there and they conducted surveillance, which they do a lot of times when they get these tips,” said Officer Ryan Railsback. “And sure enough they saw this drone flying, and what appeared to be this drone dropping or leaving some possible narcotics in a parking lot.”

After acquiring a search warrant, police entered the house and reportedly found “uncapped hypodermic syringes” and some unpacked powders (possibly fentanyl) in a bedroom.

“Detectives also located methamphetamine and suspected LSD-laced candies, as well as the drone used for the delivery of the illegal narcotics,” police shared on Facebook.

The tale took a darker turn when they reportedly discovered a vape device filled with marijuana in a bedroom with the nine-year-old girl. “A lot of the narcotics were found spread throughout the house—a lot of it in one bedroom that this girl has access to,” Railsback said.

The child was taken to Child Protective Services before being released to her biological mother.

The couple had these charges added to their already growing rap sheet. Both were reportedly already involved in another drug-related case, while Baldassarre has been previously convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs.

This is not the first time drug dealers have had the bright idea of delivering drugs via drone. A drug delivery drone sparked a brawl in an Ohio prison, while a homemade one crashed in an Arizona prison. All these drug dealers have to do is to scrape together $1,500 (in one case) to get the operation going, and even if the drone is intercepted, authorities may have difficulty tracing who was controlling the machine.

On the legal side of things, whiskey and weed companies are also looking into flying their goods to their customers.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter