Drug Dealers in Riverside Use Drone for Discreet Delivery

Share this article: Drone file photo by Don McCullough from Santa Rosa, CA, USA (Drone and Moon) [CC BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons A probationer and his live-in girlfriend were behind bars Friday, suspected of selling drugs out of a Riverside home and delivering the contraband to customers via a remote-controlled drone.

Benjamin Paul Baldassarre, 39, and Ashley Lauren Carroll, 31, were arrested Thursday and booked on suspicion of possession of illegal drugs for sale, conspiracy and child endangerment. Both are being held in lieu of $50,000 bail — Baldassarre at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside, and Carroll at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, according to Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback.

Earlier this month, investigators were alerted to possible drug dealing out of a residence in the 8700 block of Chesapeake Lane, in the Orangecrest quarter of the city, he said. Narcotics detectives began surveillance and observed a drone fly out of the backyard of the property to a public parking area not far away, where a package was dropped from the aerial vehicle, according to the officer.

Several people were waiting for the drop and collected the contents, according to Railsback, who said the activity prompted investigators to obtain a search warrant, which was served on Baldassarre and Carroll on Thursday morning.

Officers immediately requested assistance from the fire department’s hazardous materials team after locating “used and uncapped hypodermic syringes scattered throughout a bedroom,” Railsback said. Along with the biohazard, officers uncovered an undisclosed quantity of methamphetamine, as well as “unpackaged powders believed to contain fentanyl,” he said.

The suspects were taken into custody without incident.

Baldassarre’s 9-year-old daughter was removed from the residence, unharmed, and placed in the care of Riverside County Child Protective Services agents, who eventually released her to her mother, Railsback said.

According to court records, Baldassarre has prior misdemeanor convictions for driving under the influence of drugs and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

He and Carroll are also each charged in an unresolved drug-related case, records showed.

–City News Service

Drug dealers in Riverside use drone for discreet delivery was last modified: December 22nd, 2017 by Toni McAllister

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