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FBI & Air Force OSI knocked on my door

Parkerjh

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
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Feb 15, 2018
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Location
Boston, MA, USA
Had a business card of an FBI agent taped to my house front door this morning.
On the front, hand-printed, "Cell on back".
No other message.

My wife called with this info right when I got a call from an unknown Virginia number.
He asked me if I was home and I said, "May I ask who is asking?"
He identified himself as an FBI agent and asked if we could meet.
We arranged to meet at a Starbucks half-way between us.

When he arrived, he was with an OSI officer from the Air Force.

After a couple of pleasantries, they said they were there to talk to me about a flight that I had made at the end of October last year.
Apparently, I had flown over the boundary of an air force base by just a few feet.
It was over a hedge row near some adjacent industrial property and nowhere near a runway.

I showed them the photos I took and explained who the client was.
Looks like they were just ensuring I wasn't there for nefarious reasons.

It was interesting to me how long ago the flight was and the fact that they came in person.
I mean, they figured out my cell number and could have just called me.
 
16 y.o kid who lives in San Antonio, TX just outside Randolph AFB between there and Ft. Sam, "Mom, can I get a DJI Chinese drone for my 17th birthday so I can have fun flying around the neighborhood taking pictures.... " :oops:

Sorry to hear that happened to you; you're better than me, I don't think I could have shown up without my lawyer. What do you think would have happened had you not been able to convince them?
 
How did they Know it was you? Did they find your info somehow ? How? Were is your Letter from the FAA for busting the reg. If the FAA is giving your personal info to the Air force they must be investigating also?
We arranged to meet at a Starbucks half-way between us.
Good job asking to meet at an Arbitrary location you can now request a gas voucher from the Air force for your time.
 
I am astounded that the FBI and AF OSI have time for this. They obviously knew exactly who you were and where you flew. But they wanted to meet you personally. Can you tell us this: did they ask you whether you were in fact flying your drone that day? If so, when in the conversation did they ask? Did they ask to see your photos or did you volunteer them?
 
Aeroscope. Which sort of penalizes the people who register their drones ironically.
I think you're right, but isn't that confusing.... A Federal body and a Military Arm using data gleaned from proprietary Chinese tech to locate the owner of a drone while another Federal body insists that RID compliance has to be achieved by using non-Chinese third-party add-ons. If the locating the home I.P/e-mail address of the drone jock was down to Aeroscope, this proves that DJI proprietary RID and UUID already fulfil the FAA RID remit perfectly.
 
I think you're right, but isn't that confusing.... A Federal body and a Military Arm using data gleaned from proprietary Chinese tech to locate the owner of a drone while another Federal body insists that RID compliance has to be achieved by using non-Chinese third-party add-ons. If the locating the home I.P/e-mail address of the drone jock was down to Aeroscope, this proves that DJI proprietary RID and UUID already fulfil the FAA RID remit perfectly.
All this is filling me with dread as we approach our annual holiday in SW Florida in April. I am hoping DJI will have satisfied the FAA for my MA2 by the time of the RID implementation date late March! The FAA are not happy at the moment but one hopes it will be sorted by then, after all I have the latest firmware on the drone and my RC.🤞
 
. What do you think would have happened had you not been able to convince them?
It was pretty easy as I have all my client photos on ShareFile. I showed them how I had it indexed by company, then by agent, then by property. I scrolled through, showed the date that matched what they were looking for and showed them all low level, about 100' photos of my subject property.

Had I not had that or some logical explanation of why I chose to fly there, I suppose they would have grilled me more on my intents.
They obviously knew exactly who you were and where you flew. But they wanted to meet you personally. Can you tell us this: did they ask you whether you were in fact flying your drone that day? If so, when in the conversation did they ask? Did they ask to see your photos or did you volunteer them?

It was interesting, not only did they know where I flew and when I flew and that it was drone, he also said, "and you purchased it on April 15th, 2022." So I get the me/where/when from Aeroscope but I was surprised they had my purchase info.

So they asked about that day and that drone and if indeed it was me and what I was doing there. They did not ask to see the photos but were concerned with what I was looking at so I just immediately offered up the photos as a reason why I was there.
you're under no obligation to speak to the police. There is ZERO benefit to you to engage.
I vehemently disagree in this particular situation.




Also, hilariously enough, about a year and a half ago, I stumbled upon a Tik Tok video of some guy pissed off at the IRS for some decision and him threatening to go to the office and kill the agents, this guy seemed violent and credible. So I used the FBI tip page and shared the link. While we were wrapping up the conversation, the FBI agent says, "By the way, thanks for the tip you put in about the IRS shooter, appreciate it"

We ended up talking a bit about drone capabilities, registration, DJI, use cases, etc. The agent had a basic knowledge of drone stuff but was genuinely curious about others. He said he appreciated my time & knowledge and enjoyed the conversation.
 
Did either of those agents threaten legal action of any kind if you did not attend this "meeting"? If so -Contact your attorney!

Did they read you your rights and explain exactly why they were questioning you? if not- Contact your attorney!
I just immediately offered up the photos as a reason why I was there.
If they would have taken those photos, the photos would have been in-admissible in court.
They broke the law in questioning you and They understood that under those conditions the photos would be obtained illegally.
Contact your Attorney!
 
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Contact your Attorney!

I did prior to meeting them. He advised me that at any time I felt uncomfortable, to kindly end the interview or call him. I know how Aerscope works and I knew they knew where I was and when I was there. I had nothing else to hide so preferred to answer their questions and satisfy their concerns that I was not a threat. Being evasive would not have helped the situation and it didn't needlessly need to be escalated. I am totally aware of what my rights are the same way when I am pulled over by a cop for speeding and he asks, "where are you heading?" Sure, I could say, "Prefer not to answer" or simply remain silent but that's a recipe for a ticket verse hopefully just getting a verbal warning.
 
Just a few Questions? So:
An OSI Officer from the Air Force contacted you and impersonated a Federal Agent? Did you get this Felons information?

Most Government agents would ask you to meet them at their office or they would come to your home.- Did you ask for a fuel voucher to reimburse you for the cost of gas to meet at this arbitrary location?
Did they place conditions or threaten you with legal action, to arrange this meeting?- If so you were illegally detained by that agent and you should seek legal consul.

How long ago? and how would they know it was you that flew the drone?
Where is the FAA letter for busting the reg?- You should have gotten one if the Air Force is asking the FAA for your personal info.


You and I usually see the same side of the coin but not on this one my friend.

A) He was WITH the OSI officer not impersonating one.
"When he arrived, he was with an OSI officer from the Air Force."

B) It's fully within their powers to offer to meet at an alternate location if it's convenient for both partys and they aren't expecting a "Confrontation".

C) It's also within their powers to "Investigate" a potential "Military Base Security Breach". Just because the airspace has no FAA Airspace Restrictions does not mean they don't save legit "security concerns".

D) At no point did anyone mention any FAA Airspace Violations so the FAA wasn't needed (or even welcome to this meeting) so no need to have any other "abc" there.

My take on this is that the "meeting" was fairly casual and just to confirm that nothing "nefarious" was happening and more or less to "close the case".

This is a very good lesson for many of our "Aerial Legal Arm Chair gurus" here. There are other LAWS at play more than "just" the FAA. Local laws, state laws, Federal laws, and of course National Security all come into play from time to time. I would think flying anywhere near a Military Base would warrant some extra scrutiny in your Flight Planning even if the "Airspace" is clear.

KUDOS to you @Parkerjh for handling it well. I would like to add, as @mavic3usa mentions, I wouldn't have met with them without Legal Council present, Just In Case.

Glad it was a casual and Happy Ending for you and THANK YOU for sharing it with the rest of us.
 
Curious to know when this happened and which AFB you were flying near. I ask when because I'm wondering if this is, indeed, the last of it. That said, I still would not have volunteered ANY information to them. The only reason they asked you questions was to gather additional evidence against you.
 
Curious to know when this happened and which AFB you were flying near. I ask when because I'm wondering if this is, indeed, the last of it. That said, I still would not have volunteered ANY information to them. The only reason they asked you questions was to gather additional evidence against you.

Happened last fall. I was over the property line by just a few feet. The property seemed to run in a straight line as it was fenced and had commercial properties and public roads on the other side. However, turns out the property line was irregular and they owned part of the adjacent (seemingly commercial) property. So it wasn't egregious or a "runway incursion" or anything reckless. (Possibly careless but not reckless).

They had all the records and without lying, there was really nothing to refute. They knew my flight patch exactly.

Seemed like it was the end of it, I hope so.
 
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You and I usually see the same side of the coin but not on this one my friend.

A) He was WITH the OSI officer not impersonating one.
"When he arrived, he was with an OSI officer from the Air Force."



C) It's also within their powers to "Investigate" a potential "Military Base Security Breach". Just because the airspace has no FAA Airspace Restrictions does not mean they don't save legit "security concerns".

D) At no point did anyone mention any FAA Airspace Violations so the FAA wasn't needed (or even welcome to this meeting) so no need to have any other "abc" there.

My take on this is that the "meeting" was fairly casual and just to confirm that nothing "nefarious" was happening and more or less to "close the case".

This is a very good lesson for many of our "Aerial Legal Arm Chair gurus" here. There are other LAWS at play more than "just" the FAA. Local laws, state laws, Federal laws, and of course National Security all come into play from time to time. I would think flying anywhere near a Military Base would warrant some extra scrutiny in your Flight Planning even if the "Airspace" is clear.

KUDOS to you @Parkerjh for handling it well. I would like to add, as @mavic3usa mentions, I wouldn't have met with them without Legal Council present, Just In Case.

Glad it was a casual and Happy Ending for you and THANK YOU for sharing it with the rest
That reply was deleted by me due to My overlooking the fact that both agents had appeared I hope that did not cause confusion. Sorry- I respect your views on this forum as well.
It's fully within their powers to offer to meet at an alternate location if it's convenient for both partys and they aren't expecting a "Confrontation".
Actually for the Safety of both parties and for the innocent persons around them there are protocols in place Also while being questioned you have a reasonable right to your privacy regarding your case any information gathered in a manner that would violate this would be deemed inadmissable.- Think about if a Doctor wanted to meet you at the diner to discuss your case when in actuality HIPA laws forbid the practice.
 
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A) He was WITH the OSI officer not impersonating one.
"When he arrived, he was with an OSI officer from the Air Force."

B) It's fully within their powers to offer to meet at an alternate location if it's convenient for both partys and they aren't expecting a "Confrontation".

C) It's also within their powers to "Investigate" a potential "Military Base Security Breach". Just because the airspace has no FAA Airspace Restrictions does not mean they don't save legit "security concerns".

D) At no point did anyone mention any FAA Airspace Violations so the FAA wasn't needed (or even welcome to this meeting) so no need to have any other "abc" there.

My take on this is that the "meeting" was fairly casual and just to confirm that nothing "nefarious" was happening and more or less to "close the case".

This is a very good lesson for many of our "Aerial Legal Arm Chair gurus" here. There are other LAWS at play more than "just" the FAA. Local laws, state laws, Federal laws, and of course National Security all come into play from time to time. I would think flying anywhere near a Military Base would warrant some extra scrutiny in your Flight Planning even if the "Airspace" is clear.

KUDOS to you @Parkerjh for handling it well. I would like to add, as @mavic3usa mentions, I wouldn't have met with them without Legal Council present, Just In Case.

Glad it was a casual and Happy Ending for you and THANK YOU for sharing it with the rest of us.
Yeah, I don't understand the impersonating thing. They introduced themselves cordially and gave me their cards.
That was good enough for me.

They came to my house, I wasn't home. They called me. I told them where I was and where I was headed next (both drone jobs LOL) and I offered to meet at a Starbucks where I was going to be rather than making it all the way back home (which would have been inconvenient). I didn't know what it was about and wanted to address it immediately so I was happy to meet there. I don't need a fuel voucher. And if I said no to meeting, I am pretty convinced the next steps may not have been so convenient and on my terms.

Correct, the FAA was never brought up.

I would think flying anywhere near a Military Base would warrant some extra scrutiny
It did which was why I didn't fly across the fence or take pictures from the rear of my subject property.
 
Actually for the Safety of both parties and for the innocent persons around them there are protocols in place
I think you are creating issues that don't exist. While I am not a trained FBI officer, I will go out on a limb and suggest they didn't break any rules by meeting me at a coffee shop for what they were investigating.
 
Just hate seeing you harassed by something that could have easily been handled over the phone not saying you handled it wrong I would have done it differently that's all I would have brought my Attorney.
I will just end by saying:
The Government has one goal...to gather evidence on a case. So if you are a suspect or even possibly a suspect, the purpose of the questioning will be to try and gather evidence to convict you at trial. That is it. They are not there to ask about your job or gather drone knowledge- or even get to know you. They are there for evidence to use against you..
 
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You and I usually see the same side of the coin but not on this one my friend.

A) He was WITH the OSI officer not impersonating one.
"When he arrived, he was with an OSI officer from the Air Force."

B) It's fully within their powers to offer to meet at an alternate location if it's convenient for both partys and they aren't expecting a "Confrontation".

C) It's also within their powers to "Investigate" a potential "Military Base Security Breach". Just because the airspace has no FAA Airspace Restrictions does not mean they don't save legit "security concerns".

D) At no point did anyone mention any FAA Airspace Violations so the FAA wasn't needed (or even welcome to this meeting) so no need to have any other "abc" there.

My take on this is that the "meeting" was fairly casual and just to confirm that nothing "nefarious" was happening and more or less to "close the case".

This is a very good lesson for many of our "Aerial Legal Arm Chair gurus" here. There are other LAWS at play more than "just" the FAA. Local laws, state laws, Federal laws, and of course National Security all come into play from time to time. I would think flying anywhere near a Military Base would warrant some extra scrutiny in your Flight Planning even if the "Airspace" is clear.

KUDOS to you @Parkerjh for handling it well. I would like to add, as @mavic3usa mentions, I wouldn't have met with them without Legal Council present, Just In Case.

Glad it was a casual and Happy Ending for you and THANK YOU for sharing it with the rest of us.
Ditto!
 
Did they read you your rights and explain exactly why they were questioning you? if not- Contact your attorney!

If they would have taken those photos, the photos would have been in-admissible in court.
They broke the law in questioning you and They understood that under those conditions the photos would be obtained illegally.
Contact your Attorney!


Think about if a Doctor wanted to meet you at the diner to discuss your case when in actuality HIPA laws forbid the practice.

All of this is hilariously wrong (except to always call a lawyer).
 

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