Flying drone at night

Drone flying over a mountain at dusk. (File, courtesy of iStock)

A number of mysterious drones have been spotted flying patterns over Phillips and Yuma counties in northeast Colorado and the local law enforcement is stumped.

According to the Phillips County Sheriff’s Office, more than 16 drones have been tracked since late last week, flying at about 200 feet above the ground. When online commenters asked if they could shoot the drones down, the sheriff’s office advised against this, saying that doing so would likely be considered a federal crime because drones are considered aircraft under federal law.

Title 18 of United States Code 32 covers unmanned aircraft, meaning sabotage of a drone could carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The Communications Act of 1934 also outlaws any sort of signal jamming that may cripple the drone.

Though odd, the sheriff’s office does not believe that the drones are conducting any sort of behavior that would be malicious in nature.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Air Force have informed the sheriff’s office that the drones aren’t theirs.

Read more here.

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