June 26, 2019
California Man Charged After He Flew Drone Over NFL Games
On June 26, 2019, prosecutors filed an information in U.S. District Court, San Jose, California, charging Tracy Mapes with violating national airspace regulations.
Mapes allegedly modified his unmanned aircraft, or drone, by adding a compartment large enough to carry a payload underneath, and using it to hold dozens of leaflets. On November 26, 2017, he flew the drone over two National Football League games, dropping the leaflets on spectators below. First he piloted his drone over Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, where the San Francisco 49ers were hosting the Seattle Seahawks. He then piloted the drone over the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, where the Oakland Raiders were hosting the Denver Broncos. Tens of thousands of spectators were present at both events.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Santa Clara Police Department.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.