DHS drone crashes into Pacific off Calif. coast

ALICIA A. CALDWELL, Associated Press
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In this Nov. 8, 2011 file photo, a Predator B unmanned aircraft taxis at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

In this Nov. 8, 2011 file photo, a Predator B unmanned aircraft taxis at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Homeland Security Department drone has crashed off the coast of Southern California.

Customs and Border Protection says the drone was being flown on a border security mission when a mechanical problem developed about 20 miles southwest of San Diego late Monday night. Spokesman Mike Friel says the crew operating the drone from Texas decided to crash it in the ocean.

The $12 million surveillance drone was one of 10 that Homeland Security uses to patrol the border with Mexico. It was just one of two Predator B drones equipped with radar specifically designed to be used over the ocean.

Friel said the cause of the mechanical failure is unknown.

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