Two men were arrested in Taft after reportedly flying a drone over three of the parish’s chemical plants, according to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Volodymyr Dorogobid, 38 and of Brooklyn, New York, and Tigran Avetisyan, 39 and also of Brooklyn, were each charged with three counts of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system, as well as obstruction of justice – evidence tampering following the Feb. 21 arrest.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, that day deputies responded to a report of a drone flying over a chemical company. After investigators viewed the flight path, police determined the drone flew over three separate chemical companies.
Police records note that the initial call was in response to the aircraft flying over Dow Chemical. Officers responding to the scene found the two men, Dorogobid and Avetisyan, parked on the shoulder of LA 3142 in a black Kia Sportage. Avetisyan was wearing virtual reality goggles and Dorogobid had the drone’s controller.
The report went on to note that police requested the men land the drone. After the drone landed on the levee, the two men went to retrieve it with a bag. Police say the men were on the batture for approximately five minutes and returned, placing the bag in their vehicle but refusing to show the drone to the officer on hand, then refused to answer any further questions.
Once officers were able to view the flight path, they found the drone apparently flew over Dow, Linde and American Air Liquide.
After the SUV was towed to police headquarters, officers observed a controller, virtual goggles, a computer case and several suitcases in the hatchback area of the vehicle. While being interviewed by police, Dorogobid said that after the drone landed, the two men hid the drone in the field, the report said.
St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Amanda Pertuis said police seized the men’s equipment and that the Sheriff’s Office is working with the FBI to recover information and further the investigation.
“The report went on to note that police requested the men land the drone. After the drone landed on the levee, the two men went to retrieve it with a bag. Police say the men were on the batture for approximately five minutes and returned, placing the bag in their vehicle but refusing to show the drone to the officer on hand, then refused to answer any further questions.”
What kind of law enforcement officer allows espionage suspects to retrieve a drone unaccompanied by other law enforcement officers? They were on the levee about 5 minutes, probably destroying the chip with all the photographic evidence gathered during the flights over the chemical plants.
…or transmitting the surveillance data to Russki accomplices!
Those were my exact thoughts too! I had to re-read the article. Why wasn’t this all over the news as they picked Mardi gras day to fly the drone. I am not confident in the FBI’s handling this as serious! They are too worried about catholic masses held in latin and what everyday people are gossiping about on face book. This is a very serious situation since we also have a nuclear plant in our back yards.
Did law enforcement officers ever find the drone. How could law enforcement be so totally stupid?
The two culprits were allowed to land the drone and then go onto the batture, unaccompanied by any LEO’s. They were on the batture approximately 5 minutes, put the drone in a bag and then were allowed to put the bag in their vehicle.