By MATTHEW BROWN Associated Press Writer BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) The U.S. Forest Service has purchased a pair of flying drones to track down marijuana cultivators operating in remote California woodlands.
Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey, who oversees the Forest Service, tells The Associated Press the pilotless aircraft will allow agency law enforcement officers to pinpoint marijuana fields and size up potential dangers before agents make arrests.
Rey says there is an increasing number of marijuana growers financed by Mexican drug cartels who are using California's national forests to stage their operations.
The SkySeer drones cost $100,000 each and weigh only four pounds. They were delivered to the Forest Service's aviation branch in Montana before being shipped to California.
One of the drones is equipped with a thermal camera for nighttime flights.
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
Forest Service buys flying drones to help find marijuana growers...