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FBI & Air Force OSI knocked on my door

The OP really has no idea who these people were/are. You get a card to call an FBI officer and he says call his cell?! You meet 2 strangers who may have fake ID's?! A suit or uniform doesn't mean anything nowadays.

You were playing with fire.

Why didn't you call the FBI's main office and ask for the Agent by Name? You don't call a cell number and believe a card is real evidence that an FBI agent came to your door.

How DID you confirm their identities? Did you call both of their offices first? I would have.

Even if they were real representatives of the government, YOU ANSWERED THEIR QUESTIONS?! Believe it or not you may be getting another knock on your door and this time it will be a warrant to search and seize your property. You may have screwed yourself. Why? You admitted you committed a criminal offense.
.....


Seriously? Man you really do love to make a mountain out of a mole hill. The OP did very good and HE did as HE felt was appropriate. End of discussion. No need to Armchair and critique out of pure speculation and paranoia. This is absurdity at it's finest.

..........

Finally, this post could be click bait for all we know.

Careful with your careless accusations there. The OP has a good track record on this forum and has been here since Feb 2018. I wouldn't be so quick to join a new forum in Jan of 2024 and start casting too many stones at our established and veteran members here.

I think that sufficiently gets the point across. Anything more and we will be taking the rest of this conversation into the PM's . . . . understood?

Allen
 
Am I correct that if you are a Part 107 licensed drone pilot conducting a commercial flight, you have a legal duty to maintain flight records and produce for inspection? I am assuming that the potential consequences of blowing off the FBI and AF OSI when they have your flight documented on Aeroscope could be more serious for 107 license holder than rec pilot in that they can take away your license to do business.
 
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Am I correct that if you are a Part 107 licensed drone pilot conducting a commercial flight, you have a legal duty to maintain flight records and produce for inspection? I am assuming that the potential consequences of blowing off the FBI and AF OSI when they have your flight documented on Aeroscope could be more serious for 107 license holder than rec pilot in that they can take away your license to do business.

You are not required to maintain logs etc but you are 100% to maintain and provide documentation in regards to your Part 107 and Registration IF requested by ANY Law Enforcement.
 
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If you arrive at the meeting location and they show their ID and badges, most of us will be able to determine if we are being duped or not. Also it would be helpful to know what criminal offense he admitted to, I must have missed that part.


Agreed, it is possible (but not likely) there could be bad news coming down the road. You just never know.
I've just had some bad experiences with LE lying on reports, federal indictments and more lies and DA's threatening me over lies again. Sorry, but i'm a lot passionate when it comes to legal issues such as this. In my experience, the government lies and can't be trusted. That's just my experience. I apologize for my overzealous commentary earlier.
 
Do you consider the possibility that there can be classified, sensitive activity occurring at a military base that justifies looking into a drone flight regardless of who the pilot is, and in fact a discussion with the pilot is an important part of addressing security concerns?

Or, in your view, if the authorities determine the pilot is an American with a drone photography business, law-abiding, otherwise ordinary citizen, there are no possible circumstances that justify an in-person conversation?
This is exactly what I was thinking. The pilot may not have been the direct subject of this investigation, but something that appeared in the periphery of a larger investigation, or there was something going on that day on the base, and they wanted to know why the drone pilot was so close that day?
 
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.


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.

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.
Former IRS employee. The IRS take threats VERY seriously. It's like making bomb jokes at the airport...someone will be talking to you very soon!
I was on a phone call with a taxpayer and the guy threatened to harm me. I disconnected the call, contacted my supervisor who contacted the Inspector General's office. He got a visit from two Treasury Agents. I talked to one of the agents later and he said the guy asked how they knew it was him making the threats. They played him the recording of the call where he identified himself to me and threatened me.. D'oh!
 
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Hmmm... don't think anyone was threatened in this case.
 
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.🤞
They know far more than you and I would like them to know. They use tools far more sophisticated than Areoscope, I'm betting. Nope, don't work for them but retired Air Force and had a clearance that meant I saw things on how they collect intel. The big question is not if they know you are there, it if they care enough to check you out. But if you get on their radar, then it's for a good reason...
 
They know far more than you and I would like them to know.

I think this is more accurately stated, "they can know far more than you and I would like them to know".

In the end, we the citizenry are still ultimately in charge, and we won't give them the resources to gather the depth of information on every drone flight we're discussing in this thread.

So, in practice, they really know less than you think every time you fly. In fact, unless:

But if you get on their radar, then it's for a good reason...

Your flights are not monitored and stored in some FAA (or even NSA) database. It's only when authorities have a good reason do they go to these investigative lengths.
 
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One thing keeps coming back to me: if there was such a concern for base security that they run Aeroscope, and they captured the flight in real-time (or nearly so), and they did some digging to find the flight record, drone sales receipt, and contact information, why did they wait three months to reach out? That doesn't make sense to me. Most actionable intelligence is time-sensitive. Of course the OP may have been under surveillance in that interval and having failed to exhibit any suspicious behavior, the boys figured the last thing to do before closing the investigation would be an in-person interview. The whole thing just sounds odd to me. I am however reminded of Hanlon's Razor, which is relevant to many government and military activities.
 
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The whole thing sounds odd simply because of what we don't know.

While I of course don't know for certain, I'm confident that if we were privy to what triggered this whole thing it would make sense. This sort of thing is exceedingly rare. Drone flights on the edges of AF bases where there's no grid restrictions happen all the time.
 
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When I read "OSI" in your post, it brought back memories of Steve Austin and Oscar Goldman from the old series, "The 6 Million Dollar Man". I never missed an episode when I was a kid.

Glad everything came out ok for you. It sounds like they were very reasonable and professional.
 
Who picked up the tab at Starbucks? Sounds like a pleasant meeting with two investigators dotting their “i“s and crossing their “t”s.

Imagine the investigation that would have been stirred up if they had not closed out your presence near the base and something bad happened later!

If you were satisfied with their credentials you did nothing wrong. Anyone questioning how you conducted yourself is second guessing.

Sounds like you did the droning community well. Thanks for sharing this.
 
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When I read "OSI" in your post, it brought back memories of Steve Austin and Oscar Goldman from the old series, "The 6 Million Dollar Man". I never missed an episode when I was a kid.

Man I loved that show when I was a kid.

Then i took physics 🤣🤣🤣
 
Possible downside is that they might be pinging your future flights at will now.

Maybe, but don't forget to apply the practicality filter.

Limited resources, no threat, maybe they'll keep an eye on him for a bit, but as I say in other contexts, they probably have better things to do.
 
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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.
Exactly! The feds dont do "courtesy calls" If they think you've broken the law and pose a threat, post 9/11! I'd bet this case has been anything but closed and hes on their radar.
 
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Exactly! The feds dont do "courtesy calls" If they think you've broken the law and pose a threat, post 9/11! I'd bet this case has been anything but closed and hes on their radar.
At a minimum, he's on a list. I wouldn't be surprised if his next flight, he finds out he is on the No Fly List or if he leave the country, upon re-entry they pull him aside for extra scrutiny and additional questioning. But of course, I'm joking..... :eek: 🤣;)
 
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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!

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!
Where they can use the information as evidence depends on whether you were in custody as per Nolo:

When Is a Miranda Warning Required?​


It doesn't matter whether an interrogation occurs in a jail, at the scene of a crime, on a busy downtown street, or in the middle of an open field: If a person is in custody (not free to leave, whether or not handcuffs are involved), the police must read the Miranda rights if they want to ask questions and use the answers as evidence at trial.


Not in Custody; No Miranda Warning Required​


If someone isn't in police custody, no Miranda warning is required and anything the person says can be used at trial. Police officers often avoid arresting people—and make it clear to them that they're free to go—precisely so they don't have to give the Miranda warning. Then they can arrest the suspect after getting the incriminating statement they wanted all along.


I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. I found the "not in custody" information interesting.
 
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