TAFT, La. (WGNO) — Two individuals were arrested after St. Charles Parish Deputies discovered the illegal usage of a drone in the surrounding area of chemical plants.
On Mardi Gras day (Feb. 21) St. Charles Deputy Shawn Gregory was working a detail at the Dow Chemical plant in Taft when he alerted Detective Oehldrich at 12:57 a.m. of an unmanned drone flying in the area of LA 3142, south of LA18.
Deputy Gregory reported he saw the drone flying over the plant and also observed a black Kia Sportage parked on the shoulder of LA 3142. He approached the vehicle occupied by two individuals Tigran Avetisyan in the passenger seat with virtual reality goggles on and Volodymyr Dorogobid in the back seat with a controller.
The deputy requested for them to land the drone and Dorogobid did just that. The two took a bag to retrieve the aircraft and returned five minutes later but refused to show the deputy the drone and answer his questions.
The flight pattern of the drone revealed the pattern to have been flown over three separate chemical companies:
- Dow Chemical
- American Air Liquide
The Kia Sportage was towed to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office Headquarters in Luling where Detective Oehldrich discovered through the window:
- a black bag
- drone controller
- virtual Reality goggles
- computer case
- several suitcases
During an interview between Detective Oehldrich and Haun, Dorogobid admitted to being the pilot of the drone with Avetisyan assisting him with the VR goggles. He says he is also responsible for renting the vehicle in Florida and which he would have returned in Houston.
Dorogobid and Avetisyan were arrested and each charged with three counts of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system and one count of obstruction of justice.