Your Friendly Neighborhood Heroin Dealer Beat Amazon to Drone Delivery

I was hoping that this story wouldn’t spread outside my city’s borders, but since the LA Times picked it up I figured I’d better write about it myself and just let my gorgeous hometown take the L.

As my regular RedState readers know, I grew up in Simi Valley, California and, after a 20-year detour to the East Coast, I still live here today. Despite some white trash stereotypes, Simi Valley is a solid, family-friendly community. Since we’re not in Los Angeles County and because we don’t elect dumb progressives, we’ve avoided much of the destruction that’s occurring just “over the hill,” but due to our proximity to La-La Land, some of the criminal vagrancy problems are spreading here. And, like every community in the country, some of our residents have a drug problem and that means we also have drug dealers.

Our drug dealers are ambitious and innovative, though. Or at least one is. While Amazon still hasn’t implemented Amazon Prime Air delivery by drone, a heroin dealer in Simi Valley has.

Saturday morning, Simi Valley Police Department issued an alert on Nixle describing the arrest:

Simi Valley Police Department Homeless Liaison Officers (HLO) and Narcotics Detectives conducted an investigation into John Piani, a 51-year-old Simi Valley resident, for the alleged sales of heroin and methamphetamine. Once the investigation was completed, Piani was located in the 900 block of Enchanted Way in Simi Valley by a Simi Valley Police Department Patrol Officer and arrested. During the arrest, it was discovered that Piani was operating a drone. The drone was recovered and suspected heroin was found attached to it. Further investigation will be conducted in order to confirm the involvement of the drone.

Here’s Piani’s mug shot:

Interestingly — and perhaps frighteningly, depending upon Piani’s reason for being there — Piani was apprehended in front of the corporate headquarters of Aerovironment, the Pentagon’s top supplier of small drones, including the Raven, Wasp, and Puma models. Piani was already under investigation by SVPD detectives for selling heroin and meth, so they didn’t just stumble upon Piani at that location, and while that location isn’t too far from the city’s homeless encampment, it’s also across railroad tracks, up a very steep hill, and across the freeway, so not exactly an easy walk. Things that make you go, “Hmmm.”