Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Don't Use Drones to Deal Drugs

Here's a good rule of thumb: If it's illegal for Amazon, it's illegal for you, too. For years, the mega-retailer has been trying to utilize drone delivery, even experimenting with exploding drones (for safety's sake, you see), to no avail. So if Amazon can't use a drone to deliver that book to your door, you probably can't use one to deliver bud to a customer.

This would've been helpful information, perhaps, for Benjamin Paul Baldassarre and Ashley Lauren Carroll, who police claim had been using a drone to distribute drugs throughout their Riverside, California neighborhood.

Drone Thugs

The FAA already grounded craft beer-dropping drones, and California's Bureau of Cannabis Control clipped the wings on prospective pot deliveries via drone. But that didn't deter Baldassarre and Carroll from using a drone to deliver narcotics from their backyard to waiting customers in a nearby parking lot.

After police witnessed one such drop, they obtained a search warrant for the couple's home where they discovered "uncapped hypodermic syringes," unpacked powders (believed to be fentanyl) littering one bedroom, and Baldassarre's 9-year-old daughter near a marijuana-packed vape pen in another. According to their Facebook post, "Detectives also located methamphetamine and suspected LSD laced candies, as well as the drone used for the delivery of the illegal narcotics:"

Drugs From the Sky

Baldassarre and Carroll were charged with three counts of possession of controlled substances for sale as well as possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment. Carroll pleaded not guilty to all charges and was being held on $100,000 bail, while Baldassarre will apparently be arraigned today. The child was initially placed with Riverside County Child Protective Services agents, and later released to her biological mother.

So until Jeff Bezos can unleash his armada of exploding drones to deliver whatever household item to your doorstep (before it is snatch by your friendly neighborhood package thief), you might want to hold off on your drug drone delivery business.

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