According to an Associated Press story published yesterday, we here in Humboldt County will soon get to experience the joy of living under remote-controlled aerial electronic surveillance. Who says war brings no peacetime benefits?
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has bought a pair of flying drones to track down marijuana growers operating in remote California woodlands.
Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey, who oversees the Forest Service, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the pilotless, camera-equipped aircraft will allow law enforcement officers to pinpoint marijuana fields and size up potential dangers before agents attempt arrests.
Rey said there are increasing numbers of marijuana growers financed by Mexican drug cartels using California's forests to stage their operations.
"We're dealing with organized efforts now — not just a couple of hippies living off the land and making some cash on the side," Rey said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C.
UPDATE: Much more from the Sacramento Bee.
SIDE NOTE: Did the AP really title its report "Pilotless Drones to Battle Pot Growers"? Believe it or not, that's probably a sly AP in-joke referencing the following SF Chronicle podcast, which is legendary: