May 9, 2017
Tulsa Man Sentenced for Shining a Laser Light at a Police Helicopter
On May 9, 2017, Ethan Hernandez was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Tulsa, Oklahoma, to 1 year probation for knowingly shining a laser light at a Tulsa Police Department Air Interdiction helicopter on May 21, 2016.
The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 established 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.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the FBI and the Creek County, Oklahoma, Sheriff’s Office.