Mexico: UASs and Explosives Seized during Raids

TRIPwire, 22 May 2020

On 25 April 2020, Mexican security forces conducted search and seizure raids at three private residences in the town of San Andrés Cholula, Pueblo State, after receiving an anonymous tip. During the operation, security forces discovered a large arsenal of firearms, explosives, and modified unmanned aerial systems (UASs). According to media reports, authorities seized two modified DJI Inspire 2 quadcopters, one modified DJI Phantom, two controllers, C4, gunpowder, pyrotechnics known as ‘chrysanthemums’, seven cell phones, 53 SIM cards, three radio communications sets, integrated circuit boards, wiring, documents, two firearms, and ammunition. The seized materials indicated that the UASs were being set up to carry and drop some of the explosives on an unknown target. The operation was conducted as part of an investigation into numerous attacks in Guanajuato State that utilized IEDs and vehicle-borne IEDs (VBIEDs) as a way to repel federal security forces. Authorities suspect the Cártel de Santa Rosa de Lima (CSRL) was responsible for at least some of those attacks, and the search and seizure operation likely targeted CSRL. No suspects were arrested during the 25 April 2020 operation.