Then Secret Service searched grounds with flashlights, then said there was no threat

By Sandra Sobieraj Westfall
January 26, 2015 10:45 AM
Susan Walsh/AP

No, you’re not allowed to fly drones over the White House – or anywhere in the District of Columbia, in fact.

But that didn’t appear to stop someone from landing one on the White House lawn early Monday morning.

After Secret Service officers were spotted combing the grounds with flashlights and spotlights around 3 a.m., White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed: “There is a device that has been recovered by the Secret Service at the White House. Early indications are that it does not pose any sort of ongoing threat right now to anybody at the White House.”

An administration official tells PEOPLE that an investigation is ongoing. “It’s probably just some idiot this time,” the official says, “but the weaponization of drones is real.”

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration declared the airspace around Washington, D.C., to be a flight-restricted zone.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were not at home Monday for this latest breach in White House security. They are traveling in India.