The FBI Is Selling Its Only High-Altitude Surveillance Aircraft

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The Cessna Citation Jet is on sale! The FBI has listed it, and interested buyers can make bids in the next 5 days. The website where the jet is on sale is General Services Administration’s (GSA). The GSA listing is being sold with the WESCAM MX20HD Sensor Forward Looking Infrared camera. There is no specific price tag on the jet; however, a $100,000 deposit is needed before you place a bid for the plane.

With the tail no. 557PG, the 2003 Cessna model is powered by Pratt and Whitney 535A engines. It also features Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) is Honeywell’s Primus 1000, and features a Garmin GTN-750 650 touchscreen navigator.

The owner has been identified as AWS Air, LLC, with an address in Manassas, Virginia. But the queries and requests for the jet are being routed to a certain Earl Mcewen with an FBI.gov email.

According to Buzzfeed news, the craft has seen action during high-profile raids in 2018 and 2019. The raids resulted in the arrest of gangs involved in drug trafficking, firearms trade, and money laundering in North California, Puerto Rico, and Alabama.

The history of the aircraft does not end here. After the assassination of Freddie Gray in police custody, the jet hovered over Baltimore for monitoring purposes. In addition, it has allegedly been involved in the monitoring of the Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, DC, last June.

The surveillance system on the aircraft WESCAM MX20HD Sensor Forward Looking Infrared camera is a military gadget and is a controlled item. Meaning, the sale of the same will have to involve the state department if it is sold outside of the US.

What is yet to be determined is that why is the FBI selling it. And that too with a surveillance system on board. The FBI was approached for their comments on the matter but to no avail. At least as of now.

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