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Jacksonville Man Pleads Guilty for Shining a Laser Light at a Police Helicopter

On April 17, 2013, Tyler Pennywitt, pleaded guilty in United States District Court, Jacksonville, Florida, to knowingly shining a laser light at a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) helicopter on June 4, 2012. 

The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 modernizes the nation's aviation system and establishes a new criminal offense for aiming the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft, or at the flight path of  an aircraft.  The statute was enacted in response to a growing number of incidents of pilots being distracted or even temporarily blinded by laser beams.

We investigated the case with the assistance of the JSO and the Federal Aviation Administration.