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Riverside couple arrested for using drone to deliver drugs

Published On: 02-07-2018 in Category: drug bust

Riverside couple arrested for using drone to deliver drugs

The Riverside Police Department (RPD) recently arrested a couple on charges of using a drone to deliver drugs. Authorities said the couple — 39-year-old Benjamin Baldassarre and 31-year-old Ashley Carroll – used to operate the drone from the rear yard of their residence in the 8700 block of Chesapeake Lane in the Orangecrest neighborhood to deliver illegal drug packages to customers waiting in a nearby church parking lot.

In collaboration with the Technical Services Unit (Bomb Squad) and the North Neighborhood Policing Center, RPD’s Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant on Dec. 21, 2017, at the couple’s home and seized several used and uncapped syringes, besides unpackaged powders, which they believed was fentanyl. Additionally, investigating officers also discovered LSD and meth-laced candies, as well as the drone used to fly the drug packets.

In addition, the officers also found a vape pen containing marijuana inside the room of Baldassarre’s 9-year-old daughter, which the suspects may have left behind. The couple, who were booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center, face charges of drug possession, intent to distribute them, conspiracy to commit a crime and child endangerment.

According to RPD officer Ryan Railsback, after seeing the drone in action, the Narcotics Unit sought a search warrant to raid the house from which the drone was dispatched. “The mechanism or the way they actually deal the drugs was new and innovative in a way, but it’s still just delivering or dealing drugs,” he said. “There’s no specific crime for using a drone or something different than a hand-to-hand (drug deal). There’s no additional charges,” said Railsback.

Drugs are a major problem across California

Over the years, Riverside County has emerged as one of the largest narcotic trafficking distribution centers in the country due to the influx of smuggled drugs from Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel into various stash houses spread across the county. Then the drugs are distributed in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Canada. California is home to millions of migrant populations from different parts of the United States as well as the world. Its proximity to the Mexican borders makes it a hotspot for drug cartels and other narcotic trafficking rings to operate with ease.

The demand for illicit substances in the profitable American markets has created a monumental trafficking network, which forces drug dealers to resort to creative ways to distribute their wares to customers simply to escape the long arm of law enforcement authorities. However, there is a growing nationwide awareness on the life-threatening epidemic that is plaguing not only the state, but also the entire country. Fortunately, drug addiction is a treatable disease with a timely medical intervention.

Leading a drug-free life

If you or your loved one is battling addiction to any kind of drug, seek treatment immediately. The Riverside Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you avail one of the best addiction treatment programs and embark on your journey to sobriety. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 951-221-4018 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.

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