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A recreational drone that landed on the White House South Lawn is seen in this U.S. Secret Service handout image taken and released on January 26, 2015. (Reuters/U.S. Secret Service)

An off-duty Department of Defense employee trying out his friend’s drone from an apartment is responsible for flying the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over White House grounds, The New York Times reported.

While the drone was airborne, the US government worker – who had reportedly been drinking – lost control of it. He texted his friends, telling them he thought the drone might have crashed onto the White House grounds, and fell asleep. He woke up the next day to find out that his fear had turned out to be reality.

The man, who has not been identified, has been cooperating with the investigation and has not been charged with a crime, the Times reported. Flying a drone is illegal in Washington, DC, due to the sensitive nature of the airspace.

A spokesman for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) confirmed to the newspaper on Tuesday that the Secret Service had questioned a government employee the day before in connection with the drone episode.

The employee self-reported the incident Monday,” said the spokesman, Don Kerr. “The employee was off duty and is not involved in work related to drones or unmanned aerial vehicles in any capacity at NGA.”

By RT News
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