An unmanned aircraft similar to this one operated by the Mexican government crashed into a residential area of El Paso. Photo via Aeronautics Defense System.
The Department of Homeland Security is leading the investigation of the crash of a Mexican drone aircraft in the backyard of a residential neighborhood in El Paso, reports the El Paso Times.
The crash in El Paso's Lower Valley neighborhood occurred shortly before 6:28 p.m. Tuesday, when the El Paso (Texas) Police Department was notified about it. "We were told it was not a police matter," Det. Mike Baranyay told the news outlet.
The recovered aircraft is an Orbiter UAV produced by Aeronautics Defense System and is a designed for use in military and homeland security missions, according to the company's website.
The Orbiter UAV can be deployed for "over-the-hill reconnaissance missions, low-intensity conflicts and urban warfare operations as well as any close-range ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) mission."
The crash is believed to be the first on record of a Mexican-operated drone on U.S. territory. The craft was secured by the U.S. Border Patrol and immediately returned to the Mexican government.
Earlier this summer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection ramped up its use of UAVs along the Texas-Mexico border to assist enforcement missions of drug and human smuggling enforcement. The agency has already been using the UAVs in Arizona.
Read the full story at ElPasoTimes.com.