The official Twitter account of Canada’s Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) asked its 50K+ followers an all-important question this week: “How are illegal guns reaching the hands of criminals in Canada?” But the department already knew part of the answer, thanks to a drone that had seemingly crossed the border from the United States carrying a shopping bag full of Glock semiautomatic pistols.
Officers with the OPP were informed about the drone on April 29 by local residents of Port Lambton, a small village located 60 miles from Detroit. The multi-rotor craft had apparently crashed and gotten stuck into a tree.
As the police used a bucket truck supplied by the township’s fire department to recover the drone, they saw a grocery-style plastic shopping bag was attached to it using metal carabiners and electrical tape. Packed inside were 11 handguns with their serial numbers sanded off.
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Officers suspect the drone was traveling east from Michigan across the St. Clair River, which marks the border between Canada and the United States. But they still don’t know who was piloting the drone, or who the illicit delivery was intended for; the investigation is ongoing and updates will be provided when they become available, police said.
This news comes weeks after a drug trafficking incident where a tiny DJI Mini 2 drone was used to smuggle 259g of meth – 10g more than the drone’s own weight – across the US border. That drone, however, was headed to Mexico.
Meanwhile, incidences of commercial off-the-shelf drones being used to transport contraband – drugs, tobacco, mobile phones, electronics, and even weapons – to prison inmates are on the rise not just in the US, but across the world.
Interestingly, the governments of Michigan and Ontario have announced a joint feasibility study for a drone corridor permitting aerial transport of goods between the two neighbors. But the drone delivery of prohibited handguns, clearly, wasn’t a part of that project.
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