A man and a woman accused of using a drone to deliver drugs to customers have been arrested and charged with possession of controlled substances and child endangerment, Riverside officials confirmed Tuesday.
Benjamin Baldassarre, 39, and Ashley Carroll, 31, were arrested on Dec. 21 after investigators conducted a surveillance operation in Riverside’s Orangecrest neighborhood, police said.
Officers saw a drone leave the pair’s yard in the 8700 block of Chesapeake Lane, according to authorities. It flew to a nearby parking lot, where it dropped a small package of narcotics that was recovered by waiting customers.
The Riverside Police Department’s narcotics unit obtained a search warrant and investigated Baldassarre and Carroll’s residence along with a bomb squad.
“During the search, Detectives immediately noticed the house posed a high danger risk for the officers and occupants,” a statement from Riverside police said.
Fire officials came to the residence and remained during the investigation, the news release said.
Officers found numerous syringes strewn across a bedroom, as well as powders they believe to contain fentanyl, the statement said. They also discovered methamphetamine, candies suspected to be laced with LSD and the drone used for the delivery of the drugs, according to authorities.
Detectives also learned that a 9-year-old girl lived in the home and in her room found a vape pen that contained marijuana, which officers believe to have been left there by the suspects. Child Protective Services were called and the girl was later released to her mother, Riverside police said.
Riverside police officer Ryan Railsback said the child is Baldassarre’s daughter, City News Service reported.
Baldassarre and Carroll were charged with possession of controlled substances for sale and willful child cruelty, according to the Riverside County website.