FBI Surveillance Plane Circled Arizona I10 Shooting Suspects Apartment
Tail number N496WW registered to the National Aircraft Leasing Corporation, an FBI front company, was found to circle an area near Merritt Jr.’s apartment on September 17 and also flew over a section of Arizona I-10 freeway.
National Aircraft Leasing Corporation is one of the 13 fake companies utilized by the FBI to register the aircraft with the FAA, and provide a degree of protection to pilots and others involved in the aerial surveillance program.
The Arizona DPS acknowledged that the FBI has been assisting the Department with analysis of evidence but would not elaborate or confirm that the FBI’s aerial surveillance program assisted in their investigative efforts or what type of evidence was being analyzed, according to DPS spokesman Bart Graves.
The North Star Post has been tracking the entire FBI aerial surveillance fleet and posting weekly updates on targeted cities and other locations. This is the first clearly documented instance of a state and federal collaboration in use of surveillance aircraft in order to assist investigations.
Merritt Jr. was arrested on September 18 after ballistic evidence connected a gun owned by him to four shootings targeting motorists and vehicles on the I10 freeway.