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Archive for July 7th, 2021

After Close Encounter with CBP Helicopter, Drone Sped Away at 100 MPH, Police Said

A CBP air interdiction agent flies a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. Photo: CBP.

By Steve Neavling

A drone that flew dangerously close to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter in Tucson, Ariz., in February sped away at 100 mph in strong headwinds, baffling police who gave pursuit.

Police reports obtained from 12 News describe the mysterious encounter that still has authorities miffed.

It appears the remote-controlled aircraft took off from a site about 5 miles south of the city and then flew across Tucson and north over Marana, the FBI previously said in a news release. 

As a Tucson Police Department helicopter gave chase, the crew was surprised by what they were seeing – or weren’t seeing. They couldn’t see the drone with infrared googles, but they spotted a green light that appeared to be on the underbelly of the drone. 

The drone “maneuvered all over the city” and evaded police, according to the report. 

It was certainly bizarre behavior for a drone. Most commercial drones can’t reach anywhere near 100 mph, and they usually can’t travel for more than five miles. 

“[T]his did not appear to be any off the shelf” drone, the pilot wrote in the report.  

Another helicopter crew member said the drone was “very sophisticated/specialized” and was “able to perform like no other…I have observed.”

After more than an hour, the police helicopter was running out of field and had to stop pursing the drone. 

The FBI is helping with the investigation. 

On 6-Month Anniversary of U.S. Capitol Riot, FBI Still Searching for About 300 Suspects

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

Six months after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, injuring more than 100 police officers and prompting lawmakers to flee for safety, the FBI is still searching for about 300 suspects. 

So far, the FBI has arrested about 535 people involved in the violent siege. Of those, 165 have been charged with assaulting, resisting or interfering with police. 

On Tuesday, the sixth-month anniversary of the attack, the FBI released 11 new videos of Trump supporters attacking federal officers.

“As we mark six months since the violence at our nation’s Capitol, we continue to encourage the public to send tips to the FBI. As we have seen with dozens of cases so far, the tips matter,” Steven M. D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said in a news release. “Tipsters should rest assured that the FBI is working diligently behind the scenes to follow all investigative leads to verify tips from the public and bring these criminals to justice. To date, the FBI has arrested more than 500 individuals for criminal activity on January 6. The public has provided tremendous assistance to this investigation, and we are asking for additional help to identify other individuals for their role in the violence at the U.S. Capitol.”

The FBI is also searching for the person who planted two pipe bombs outside the offices of the Democratic and Republican national committees on the eve of the attack. 

Biden recalled the siege in a statement on Tuesday. 

“Not even during the Civil War did insurrectionists breach our Capitol, the citadel of our democracy,” Biden said. “But six months ago today, insurrectionists did. They launched a violent and deadly assault on the people’s house, on the people’s representatives, and on the Capitol police sworn to protect them, as our duly elected Congress carried out the sacred ritual of our republic and certified the Electoral College vote.

“This was not dissent. It was disorder. It posed an existential crisis and a test of whether our democracy could survive — a sad reminder that there is nothing guaranteed about our democracy.”