Cartels Are Reportedly Building DIY Drones to Fly Drugs Over the Border

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3 June 2014
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National News
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We know that small-fry drones have been used to smuggle illegal drugs and contraband into prisons, and that mobsters used a homemade drone to smuggle cigarettes into Russia. According to various reports, the Mexican drug cartel is also manufacturing drones to transport narcotics over the US border.
The cartel drone effort was reported by a Missouri drone lawyer last year and the security news site Americas Postes in 2010, and recently resurfaced by Quartz and Robotics Business Review....
"Theoretically it's something that could be done and indeed we should expect it at some point in the future," Peter Singer, a UAV security and intelligence expert at the Brookings Institute, told me in an email.
“Cartels are adaptive in their use of technology. And drones are a technology becoming more and more available,” he said. “They will match new means to their old ends. The key questions for them as to whether they use drones more and more will be how they allow the cartel to evade surveillance or capture, and lower costs compared to traditional methods."
Davidson wrote that traffickers in Mexico and Latin America are using homemade drones made by line workers from aircraft factories moonlighting for the cartels. One narco drone assembly line is located in the Santa Fe District of Mexico City, near the Bombardier factory at Queretaro, according to Davidson. The drones are made to be lightweight, easily transported, undetected by radar, and strong enough to carry the necessary payload....
The Undersecretary of the SSP, Francisco Gonzalez, told the Post that the drug-toting drones weigh about 100 pounds and can transport 100 kilograms of cocaine per trip. A kilo of coke that costs $1,700 in Colombia or $8,000 in Mexico sells for $30,000 in the US, he said, earning the traffickers some $2 million a flight...