Visitor Cited for Illegal Drone Operation near Washington Monument

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Date: December 17, 2015
Contact: Sergeant Anna Rose, (202) 619-7163

WASHINGTON – At 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16 the United States Park Police observed three individuals operating an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), or drone, in the northeast quadrant of the Washington Monument grounds. Flying any kind of UAS or drone anywhere in Washington, D.C. or in national parks is illegal.

Officers made contact with the operator and ordered him to land the drone. The officer issued William Stokes, Jr. a citation for operation of an unmanned aircraft. A Wondertech Zenith drone and controller were confiscated from Stokes and kept as evidence.

Federal law prohibits flying all unmanned aircraft, more commonly called drones, in the heavily regulated Flight Restricted Zone around Washington, D.C., including from private property inside the FRZ. Additionally, launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircrafts is prohibited in all areas administered by the National Park Service. Know Before You Fly! To learn more visit

This is the 10th reported incident involving illegal operation of an unmanned aircraft in a Greater Washington area National Park in 2015, and the 27th since 2013.

Last updated: December 17, 2015

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