Two New York men charged with flying drone over three Louisiana plants

HAHNVILLE — Two men from Brooklyn, New York, were arrested and charged after allegedly flying a drone over three chemical plants in Louisiana — Dow Chemical, Linde and Air Liquide, arrest records show.

Volodymyr Dorogobid, 38, and Tigran Avetisyan, 39, were both charged with three counts of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft and a felony charge of evidence tampering.

Investigators say they received a call about a drone flying over Dow Chemical in Hahnville February 21. When they went to investigate, they found a black Kia Sportage on the shoulder of LA 3142.

Inside the vehicle, detectives found Dorogobid in the rear driver’s side seat with a controller and Avetisyan in the front passenger seat wearing virtual reality goggles, the arrest record says.

The men were told to land the drone, and the records show they did comply by landing it on the top of the levee. Both men went to “get the drone with a bag,” the investigators said.

“They were on the (top of levee) for approximately five minutes and returned with the bag,” the arrest records said.

The detectives said that the men then refused to show them the drone and refused to answer any more questions. They later learned that the men allegedly tried to hide the drone in a field.

St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said, “We are working with the FBI on this case. We confiscated their drones, cell phones and goggles.”

Investigators say they observed the drone from the St. Charles Parish Emergency Operation Center. The drone reportedly flew over Dow Chemical, Linde and America Air Liquide.

Dow Chemical in Hahnville (Photo: Dow Chemical)

The men told the detectives that they rented the vehicle in Miami and were going to return it to Houston.

The men have since bonded out.

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