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December 13, 2011

North Dakota police use Predator spy plane to arrest suspects

"Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke called in the unmanned, unarmed aircraft after he was chased off of a family farm by three men with rifles, the Times explains. It circled the 3,000-acre plot, tracked down the suspects and showed they were unarmed, allowing police to converge and arrest them." --Domestic drones:

Posted by gerardvanderleun at December 13, 2011 2:52 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

I suppose the bright side is that it didn't open up with Hellfire missiles when it spotted them. This time.

A lot of moonshiners in the old days and pot farmers in more recent years have been busted by aerial surveillance from manned light aircraft. I am not sure using a drone is different in principle.

Posted by: mushroom at December 13, 2011 8:44 PM

It was obvious to me when they first appeared on the battlefield that drones would eventually be used for domestic law enforcement. Get used to it. This is only the beginning.

Posted by: rickl at December 13, 2011 8:51 PM

I remember seeing an article in the paper that a nearby newly-organized city was renting an aircraft to survey peoples' yards to look for zoning violations. This was nearly a decade ago.

Posted by: pfsm at December 13, 2011 10:06 PM

Use of the military and it's equipment for law enforcement purposes is somehow different from a police outfit that wants to rent a plane for surveillance, seems to me.

What was the cost to the ND police for the Predator time? If gratis, then you and I paid for it, no matter how far ND may be from us. Also if gratis is the case, I need someone in the city, county, or state to vote in the next election against the elected official closest to the decision to request use of the miltary asset.

I'm also a little curious as to why the AF would need Predators, armed or unarmed, in North Dakota. There are cheaper alternatives for the bastards to play with.

Posted by: arcs at December 14, 2011 5:58 AM

Oh, change AF to US Customs and Border Protection in the previous post. My sentiments remain the same.

Posted by: arcs at December 14, 2011 6:01 AM

In the technologies of war Government has finally found antidotes to that troubling amendment which limits its power, the one listed right behind speech. This is but a preview of the tactics and technology to be used in the future. Drones are a great deal cheaper than helicopter sweeps, which keep people awake and are unnerving, and much more efficient.

First they came for our enemies, and we were amused. Then they came for our criminals, and suddenly we had a thought. Eric Blair would be amused.

Posted by: james wilson at December 14, 2011 9:15 AM

In the end, someone will be hanged, us or them.

Posted by: Casca at December 14, 2011 9:52 AM

I flew my UL across the western slopes of the Green Mountains turning in the Pot Pigs; the money was quite worth it. I've done repo and bail enforcement. If you are engaged in a criminal activity, the Terminator is here!
Did you think this wouldn't occur? Silly rabbit!

Posted by: Peccable at December 14, 2011 4:41 PM

If those drones are operated by DoD personnel, wouldn't that constitute an infraction of the Posse Comitatus Act? Oh, wait, never mind, after reading about the PCA in wikipedia, I doubt the AF using even the aforementioned Hellfire missiles would raise an eyebrow. Just reclassify the perps as Tangos and you can even shut out the press. I'm starting to wonder if this is still the freest nation on earth, and fearing that, yes, we are.

Posted by: Big Mo at December 14, 2011 10:43 PM

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