Drug and human smuggling along the California/Mexico border has been an issue that the federal government has been trying to control for decades. However, it seems that border patrol and checkpoints are not enough, prompting the authorities to take to the skies.
Unmanned aircraft, called predator drones, that have been designed to patrol human and drug smuggling from the air, were unveiled Monday
. These crafts and this technology have been used by the U.S. military
in operations in both Iraq
Local news from across Southern California
Military contractor General Atomics
will operate the aircraft out of the Antelope Valley, canvassing the border region using sophisticated tracking equipment.
According to Sign On San Diego
, the drones can also use radar technology to monitor the seas, which have become a popular avenue for smugglers.
Each craft is controlled and monitored by a two-person team on the ground. Any information found regarding human and/or drug smuggling will be directly transmitted to authorities.
Drones have been successfully used to patrol the border regions south of Arizona and Texas as well as parts of the northern Canadian border.
The first two aircraft are expected to be operational by early next year, with the possibility of more to follow.