authorities hijack Apple tracker to arrest narcotics maker

A new report indicates that last year the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) used an AirTag for surveillance purposes on drug operations, in what would be the first instance of the tracer being used by a federal agency.

airtag summary news
Credit: AirTag

Last year, the US Drug Enforcement Agency allegedly used an AirTag tracking illicit drug manufacturing equipment shipped from China to a narcotics manufacturer in the United Statesaccording to a search warrant that our colleagues at Forbes were able to investigate.

In May 2022, border agents seized two packages from Shanghai, China, according to the report. One contained a pill press, a machine used to compress materials into tablets, and the other contained pill dyes. In an effort to find out where the package would be sent, the agents appealed to the DEA, who simply decided to hide an AirTag in the pill press to track the movement of the pack.

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An AirTag is used by authorities to dismantle a drug trafficking operation

In the search warrant, an officer said that ” precise information about the location of the [presse-pilules] enable investigators to obtain evidence of where these individuals store drugs and/or drug products, where they obtain controlled substances and where they distribute them However, it is unclear why the authorities decided to use an AirTag instead of a professional tracker.

According to a former agency agent, who spoke to Forbes, the DEA may have used an AirTag because it offers more reliable connectivity than other devicesor due to past failures of devices of this type available to the police.

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I’m not sure Apple really appreciates the police using its device in this way. The American giant had recently implemented an update that made it possible to better identify unknown AirTags around you, to combat snitches. It also sometimes happens that the police themselves are tracked down, as New York police officers found the tracker under their car at the beginning of this year.

Source : Forbes

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