Police in North Dakota borrowed a $154 million MQ-9 Predator B drone (also known as the world’s deadliest drone) from the Department of Homeland Security to arrest a family of anti-government separatists who refused to return six cows that wandered onto their farm. After a standoff over the refusal to return the cows, local authorities called DHS and asked them to deploy a multi-million dollar drone to surveil the farmer’s property. This incident was the first time a drone owned by the U.S. government was used against civilians for local police work.
MQ-9 Predator B drones are designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance and are equipped with a number of sensors, including a thermal camera and a camera able to read a license plate from two miles away.
The MQ-9 usually carries a variety of weapons including the GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb, the AGM-114 Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles, the AIM-9 Sidewinder. and recently, the GBU-38 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition)