North Dakota police used a US Spy Drone known as the ‘Predator’ where a family forced standoff with law enforcement over stolen cows. When a local farmer asked for his cows, his neighbor, Rodney Brossart, refused. That’s when the Nelson County Sheriff’s department tried to get the farmer’s stock back.
One of the deputies was attacked by a family member, and the situation continued to escalate from there.
That’s when local law enforcement asked for the Predator, the same multi-million dollar drone used by the United States military, which is probably the first time it’s been used on a U.S. citizen.
Susan and husband Rodney are the head of the family, who live with seven of their eight adult children in a compound which includes a house, trailer and two RVs. Sons Thomas and Jacob were also arrested in the bust after a 16-hour stand off, which stemmed from the half dozen stolen cows.
Local authorities say the Brossarts are known for being armed, anti-government separatists whose sprawling farm is used as a compound.
When the cattle wandered onto the Brossarts’ land, Sheriff Kelly Janke, who patrols a county of just 3,000 people, rounded up some sheriff’s deputies and arrested Brossart for failing to report the stray livestock.
They also took away his daughter, Abby, after she allegedly hit an officer during the arrest.
When cops returned to collect the lost cattle, three of Brossart’s sons (Alex, Jacob and Thomas) confronted Sheriff Janke with rifles and shotguns and would not allow officers on the farm, saying the unregulated use of the drones is intrusive.
That’s when the sheriff summoned a $154 million MQ-9 Predator B drone from nearby Grand Forks Air Force Base, where it was patrolling the US-Canada border for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Using a handheld device that picked up the video camera footage from the spy plane, Sheriff Janke was able to watch the movements of everyone on the farm.
During an 16-hour standoff, the sheriff and his deputies waited until they could see the remaining Brossarts put down their weapons. Then, dressed in SWAT gear, they stormed the compound and arrested the three Brossart sons. No shots were fired.
Susan Brossart, the matriarch of the clan, was later arrested, as well.
Police also recovered the cattle, valued at $6,000.
The family faces several felony charges and have repeatedly not shown up for court after posting $250,000 bail.