Satellite Photos Used Against Border Drug Runners


A U.S. intelligence agency has begun using satellite photographs to help authorities bust drug runners along the Southwest border, the Arizona Republic reports. R. Scott Zikmanis of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency said pictures from space can be used along with other intelligence to pinpoint Mexican narcotics operations and anticipate smuggling forays into the United States.

An eye in space adds one more tool to an ever-expanding technological arsenal aimed at defending the border from narcotics traffickers, human smugglers and terrorists. If phone surveillance by the National Security Agency were to intercept cartel conversations in Mexico about a planned marijuana shipment, a satellite could be directed to photograph the staging operation, and pictures could be transmitted to U.S. agents along the border. American authorities could alert Mexican counterparts to the stash-house location or use the intelligence to calculate when and where loads may come across the border, he said. “Is it possible? Of course it is,” Zikmanis said. “Is it practical? Yes.”

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