Photo: Benjamin Baldassarre
RIVERSIDE – Benjamin Baldassarre (39) and Ashley Carroll (31) of Riverside became the subjects of an early-December investigation when reports surfaced about a drone delivering illegal narcotics from a residence in the Orangecrest neighborhood.
Riverside PD obtained information on the illegal narcotics operation and the Narcotics Unit’s set up surveillance. While conducting surveillance a drone was seen leaving the rear yard of a home in the 8700 block of Chesapeake Lane. The RPD press releases states, “The drone flew to a nearby parking lot and dropped a small package of narcotics which were recovered by awaiting customers.”
An early-morning search warrant was served on December 21st by the Narcotics Unit. The Technical Services Unit (Bomb Squad) and officers assigned to the North Neighborhood Policing Center assisted at the residence where the drug activity was observed.
Because the house posed a high-danger risk for the officers and occupants, authorities called in a response by the Riverside Fire Department to ensure everyone’s safety during the ensuing investigation.
Authorities announced that “Numerous used and uncapped hypodermic syringes were scattered throughout a bedroom along with unpackaged powders believed to contain fentanyl.” Detectives also located methamphetamine and suspected LSD-laced candies. The drone was parked and ready for action for the drug deliveries.
Detectives discovered a nine-year-old girl living at this residence. In her bedroom they found a “vape pen.”
Although the County of Riverside Child Protective Services was called, “the child was later released to her mother.” Baldassarre and Carroll were arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for possession of controlled substances, possession of controlled substances for the purposes of sales, conspiracy to commit a crime, and child endangerment.