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Manned Flights Crossing Border
By Harold Hutchison

As the drug war in Mexico spills over into the United States, the government is turning to private contractors to carry out surveillance flights over Mexican airspace. Operation Lowrider started after an ICE agent, Jamie Zapata, was murdered in 2011.

According to media reports, the program has been run by a defense contractor known as Sierra Nevada. It is not the first time such surveillance flights have been run in the war on drugs, as such flights are known to have been done over Colombia. During the flights over Colombia, two surveillance planes crashed, and one pilot was killed while three other Americans were held prisoner for six years.

“It's been successful in identifying, eliminating and bringing to justice those who brought tons and tons of drugs into the United States,” former DEA agent Phil Jordan told FoxNews.com.