WH drone operator works for intel agency

The man who crashed a drone on the White House grounds early Monday is an employee of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.


"The employee was off duty and is not involved in work related to drones or unmanned aerial vehicles in any capacity at NGA," the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

The roughly two-foot long drone was not related to his work, the statement added. 

"Even though the employee was using a personal item while off duty, the agency takes the incident very seriously and remains committed to promoting public trust and transparency," the NGA said. 

The man has not been identified. 

The New York Times reported earlier on Tuesday that the man had been drinking at a friend's apartment nearby before flying the drone near the White House around 3 a.m. Monday and losing control. 

He went to bed worried that he could have flown the drone over the White House, and then contacted the authorities after friends told him about news reports of a crashed drone the following morning. 

The NGA, based in Springfield, Va., is an intelligence agency focusing on satellite imagery. 

The NGA statement said that the man was questioned on Monday. Secret Service is still investigating the incident.