A man has been prosecuted and sentenced in what is regarded to be the first criminal investigation involving a Predator drone on US soil. North Dakota farmer Rodney Brossart was arrested in 2011 for refusing to return three of his neighbor’s cows that had strayed into his property. An armed confrontation by a SWAT team resulted in his arrest. Brossart was eventually acquitted of the theft, but was convicted of terrorizing police. Federal prosecutors used footage from a Customs and Border Patrol drone to help prepare their case. Brossart had argued that the aerial surveillance was illegal because it was conducted without a warrant. Brossart was sentenced to three years in prison, with all but six months suspended.

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