What began as a wild west-style cattle-stealing case may have ushered in a brave new world of law enforcement officials using drones to gather evidence to put Americans behind bars.
In the first-ever case of a U.S. citizen being convicted and sentenced to prison based in part on evidence gathered by a drone, Lakota, N.D., farmer Rodney Brossart got a three-year sentence for his role in an armed standoff with police that began after he was accused of stealing his neighbors' stray cattle in 2011.
Brossart was arrested on June 23, 2011, but his family refused at gunpoint to let authorities armed with a search warrant onto their 3,600-acre property to investigate the neighbors' complaint. Brossart was later released on bail, and warrants issued for his three sons, but the family refused for months to respond to orders to appear in court, prompting Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke to have the U.S. Border Patrol deploy a Predator drone conduct live video surveillance of the farm.
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