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Criminal charges follow drone surveillance of burglary suspect

Law enforcement personnel are utilizing the newest drone technology. A Washington man was recently arrested in an auto impound yard, and he is now facing criminal charges. Reportedly, Kelso Police was alerted by someone on a property nearby who reported a cut in the fence of the impound yard. Officers launched a drone that belongs to the office of the Cowlitz County Sheriff to investigate.

Reportedly, the drone hovered above the yard and moved about, monitoring the area. It did not take long to locate the intruder who was said to be trying to conceal himself by lying on the ground between some vehicles. Officers notified the premises owner who unlocked the gate. The alleged intruder was arrested and charged with burglary.

Many questions are being asked about the use of drones by law enforcement. In some states, the use of drones by police sparked privacy concerns. Since the start of drone use by police back in 2011, many temporary licenses for surveillance drones have been issued to U.S. law enforcement by the Federal Aviation Administration. Another state launched a pilot program to use drones during searches, natural disasters and certain tactical operations. However, approval for each drone flight requires a high-ranking officer's authorization.

The law concerning drones and their use by law enforcement in Washington remains unsettled. The most logical step for anyone who faces criminal charges that are based on drone surveillance might be to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at the first opportunity. The lawyer can assess the circumstances and the methods used for the arrest and devise a defense strategy designed to achieve the best possible outcome.

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