WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's watchdog says the FBI has been using drones to support its operations since 2006 and has spent more than $3 million on the unmanned aircraft.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz says another Justice Department agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, also plans to use drones to support future operations. To date, ATF has spent almost $600,000.
Civilian versions of the kind of aircraft the military has used to track and kill terrorists around the world are in demand by police departments, the border patrol and law enforcement agencies. Justice Department officials told the IG's office that none of their drones are armed.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshals Service have purchased drones for testing, but say they have no plans to deploy them.