Category Archives: Legal

Regulation, restrictions, lawsuits, criminal prosecution

Moron crashes drone into Empire State Building. Now facing criminal charges.

A small drone crashed into the 40th floor of the Empire State Building Thursday night and then fell to a 35th floor landing, authorities said.

Investigators said Sean Nivin Riddle was arrested at the scene and is expected to face criminal charges. He was being questioned by officers at the Midtown South police precinct.

Read the full story here.

Some of the Ways Criminals are using Drones.

Nefarious use of drones is likely to get worse before it gets better, according to officials.

  • Counter surveillance of law enforcement agents is the fastest-growing way that organized criminals are using drones.
  • Some criminal organizations have begun to use drones as part of witness intimidation schemes: they continuously surveil police departments and precincts in order to see “who is going in and out of the facility and who might be co-operating with police,”
  • Criminal crews are using drones to observe bigger target facilities, spot security gaps, and determine patterns of life: where the security guards go and when.
  • Criminal groups have begun have used drones as part of elaborate smuggling schemes,
  • Criminal networks were using drones to watch Border Patrol officers, identify their gaps in coverage, and exploit them.

Read the full story here.

 

 

 

Smugglers used drones and inter-skyscraper cables to get $80m of iPhones into China.

Customs officers in southern China’s technology hub Shenzhen busted a group of criminals using drones to smuggle 500 million yuan ($79.8 million) worth of smartphones from Hong Kong to Shenzhen, the official Legal Daily reported on Friday.

Authorities arrested 26 suspects who used drones to fly two 200-meter (660-feet) cables between Hong Kong and the mainland to transport refurbished iPhones with a total value of 500 million yuan, the paper said in a report on the crackdown by Shenzhen and Hong Kong customs.

Read the full story here.

Frenchman arrested for flying drone over residence of Cambodian Prime Minister in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district.

The French drone pilot, Pierre Michel Breckler, was arrested when he flew his Mavic Pro over the residence of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen last Wednesday. Police in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district arrested the Frenchman when he was flying his unmanned aerial vehicle in Chamtomok commune near Koh Pich bridge.

On Thursday the district police chief Huon Chan Yaran confirmed that the drone pilot was arrested for using the aircraft to capture footage of prohibited areas without permission.

Read the full story here.

 

Close Call With Drone Flying Illegally Left Glider No Room to Take Evasive Action.

A drone flying above the recommended height near an airfield “endangered” aircraft, passing close to a glider.

The gilder pilot reported that the drone came within 20-50m (65-164ft) of their aircraft on their approach to Dunstable, Bedfordshire, at a height of 550ft (168m) on New Year’s Day.

The UK Airprox Board said had the drone been on a “collision course” the glider would have been unlikely to respond.

Read the full story here.

Drone Pilot Banned from Kruger National Park for LIfe

A man’s decision to disobey the rules cost him dearly when he was banned from the Kruger National Park for life for operating a drone.

The guest, whose identity is not known, flew his drone over a troop of baboons earlier this month. Two visitors to the park, busy watching hippos at Nhlanganini Dam in the northern region, saw baboons going for a drink when the man nearby got out of his car and sent his drone up in the air to obtain video footage. When confronted, he claimed that he did not receive a memo warning of its illegality. The visitors took photos as proof and immediately reported it to the nearest camp, Letaba. As he was about to leave, he was greeted by the park’s protection services and the South Africa Police Service, laying in wait at the Phalaborwa Gate.

Read the full story here.

2 Americans, 2 Ukrainians arrested in Serbia over drone

Two U.S. and two Ukrainian citizens have been arrested in Serbia for trying to photograph the military security headquarters in downtown Belgrade with a drone.

A Serbian state TV report Monday did not identify the four or give details, saying only that the two Ukrainians are women and that they are all in police custody.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Sunday mentioned the arrest of a “group” of foreigners, but added that their case is “nothing especially serious.”

Read the full story here.

 

Charleston, South Carolina helicopter crash blamed on drone.

Federal authorities are investigating a helicopter crash that happened Wednesday near the southern tip of Daniel Island.

A Robinson R22 helicopter struck a tree and crash-landed Wednesday afternoon, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Kathleen Bergen.

The instructor told police he was giving a lesson to a student pilot at approximately 3:30 p.m. While the student was practicing “low impact and hover taxi maneuvers” above undeveloped land on Daniel Island, they turned and saw a white “DJI Phantom quad-copter” drone headed into their airspace, the report states.

Police say the instructor took controls of the helicopter to avoid the drone and while attempting to land, the helicopter’s tail rudder struck a small tree, causing him to lose control of the helicopter.

Read the full story here.