Tuesday July 19, 2016

Hard Time For Man Who Fired Laser Pointer At CHP Aircraft

"It just shot upward from my pocket and hit the plane!" Sadly, that reasoning did not fly with law enforcement and the Fresno-area man is now looking at six months in prison for repeatedly hitting a California Highway Patrol aircraft multiple times. The laser used is capable of firing at 200 milliwatts at a range of 6,000 feet and setting small objects alight at short-range.

"I keep thinking this offense was committed by a 12-year-old. But it was not," US District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill told defendant Jeremy Scott Danielson during the Monday sentencing hearing, according to a statement sent to Ars. "You could have brought the CHP plane down by blinding the pilot. You jeopardized their eyes and their safety." Despite the judge's claim, a plane has never been brought down due to a laser strike. However, for more than a decade, federal authorities have been concerned that terrorists or other ne'er-do-wells might try to. Under the Obama administration, federal penalties for laser strikes have been strengthened.