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December 22, 2014

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$12M government drone crashes off Calif. coast

Image

AP Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

This undated photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows an unmanned drone used to patrol the U.S.-Canadian border.

WASHINGTON — A Homeland Security Department drone has crashed off the coast of Southern California.

Customs and Border Protection says the drone was on a border security mission when a mechanical problem developed about 20 miles southwest of San Diego late Monday night. Spokesman Mike Friel says the crew operating the drone from Texas decided to crash it in the ocean.

The $12 million surveillance drone was one of 10 that Homeland Security uses to patrol the border with Mexico. It was just one of two Predator B drones equipped with radar specifically designed to be used over the ocean.

Friel says the cause of the mechanical failure is unknown and that the remainder of the drone fleet has been temporarily grounded while the investigation into the incident continues.

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