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Investigations

Date

Virginia Man Sentenced for Aiming a Laser Pointer at an Aircraft

On May 11, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia sentenced Jonathan Wolverton to 3 months’ probation and a $100 special assessment. On January 12, 2021, Wolverton pleaded guilty to knowingly aiming the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft and at the flight path of the same aircraft. The investigation revealed that on June 25, 2020, Wolverton attended a demonstration in Richmond, Virginia, hid in the crowd, and used a laser pointer to illuminate law enforcement aircraft flying overhead. Wolverton struck the aircraft with the laser multiple times, causing the pilots to experience temporary blindness.
 
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with assistance from the FBI, the Richmond Police Department, and the Henrico County Police Division.