RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) – A man and his girlfriend have been arrested after police discovered they were using a drone to transport narcotics out of a drug house in Riverside, where a 9-year-old girl was also living, authorities said Tuesday.
According to Riverside police, in early December, detectives investigating a suspected drug house in the 8700 block of Chesapeake Lane observed the drone carrying small packages from the yard to a nearby parking lot at East Hills Church. The package – believed to contain narcotics — was dropped off to waiting customers. The customers would then drive by the house and throw money onto the front lawn as payment.
“It was constant, I’m talking 50 cars a day,” neighbor Cassandra McDowell told CBs2. “It was huge, I don’t know what’s going on, but I can’t stand it.”
On the morning of Dec. 21, police raided the home, where they discovered multiple hypodermic syringes, meth, LSD-laced candies, fentanyl-containing powder and the drone in question.
Benjamin Baldassarre, 39, and Ashley Carroll, 31, were arrested on multiple charges including possession of controlled substances, conspiracy to commit a crime and child endangerment.
During the raid, Baldassarre’s 9-year-old daughter was found living in a bedroom of the house, police said. Inside her room, officers found a “vape pen” containing marijuana. The girl was taken into the custody of Riverside Child Protective Services before being released to her mother, Baldassarre’s ex-wife, Jaclyn Baldassarre.
“She (my daughter) was afraid, she didn’t know what to say,” Jaclyn Baldassarre told CBS2. “And that was her dad, you know, what do you say against your dad.”
Carroll pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Tuesday in Riverside County Superior Court. Baldassarre was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning.