Skip to main content

See also:

Drone farmer arrest: Rodney Brossart convicted after drone gathers evidence

A Predator drone gathered evidence that led to a farmer's arrest and conviction
A Predator drone gathered evidence that led to a farmer's arrest and conviction
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

The drone farmer arrest case may indicate where things are headed when it comes to investigations and proving cases in court. On Jan. 28 Fox News shared the details of how farmer Rodney Brossart ended up with a three-year sentence after a drone helped gather evidence against him.

Brossart was arrested in June 2011 amid allegations of cattle theft, but the family refused to cooperate with authorities with a search warrant for their property. The family then ignored arrest warrants and orders to appear in court, leading to a tense standoff with police. Eventually a Predator drone was sent to do video surveillance on the family's 3,600-acre farm.

The drone led to the farmer's arrest and five family members faced charges of terrorizing after the standoff with authorities. Brossart had been accused of stealing cows worth $6,000, though ultimately he was found not guilty. He was sentenced to three years, however, for being a part of the police standoff. Most of the sentence was suspended.

Brossart's attorney tried to get the terrorizing charges dropped, arguing that the drone evidence was unjust because there wasn't a search warrant specifically authorizing it. It seems the judge disagreed. Charges against the farmer's daughter and wife were dropped, but his three sons still have charges pending.

While the drone farmer arrest is quite unusual, many see the likelihood of drone involvement in investigations becoming more common going forward given the success in this case.