Coalville man indicted for allegedly pointing laser at aircraft
If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000
A federal grand jury returned an indictment Wednesday morning against a Coalville man for allegedly aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, according to court documents.
Ryan Michael Kane, 25, of Coalville, was formally charged in Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court with one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, a federal crime that carries a potential sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
At about 3 a.m. on Aug. 28, an Airmed pilot was flying from Rock Springs, Wyoming, to Salt Lake City near Echo Reservoir when his cockpit was allegedly struck with a laser beam, according to an email from Melodie Rydalch, a spokesperson with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Utah. The laser beam was reportedly shone at the pilot again on his return flight.
The pilot was reportedly able to identify the vehicle where the laser originated and contacted the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Rydalch said. Lt. Andrew Wright said the information was passed along to the Federal Bureau of Investigation due to the nature of the crime. Directing a laser beam into an aircraft cockpit could interfere with a flight crew performing its duties while operating an aircraft and is a violation of Federal Aviation Regulations, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
A summons will be issued for Kane to appear on the charges.
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