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Drone Operator Sentenced for Unlawful Operation of a Drone During AFC Championship Game

On March 14, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland sentenced Matthew Hebert to 12 months of probation, a $500 fine, and a $25 assessment. On the same date, Hebert pleaded guilty to knowingly or willfully violating United States National Defense Airspace. 

According to court documents, Hebert unlawfully operated a drone during the National Football League’s AFC Championship Game on January 28, 2024. Due to the drone’s incursion, the game was temporarily suspended.

DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Maryland State Police, with substantial assistance from the Federal Aviation Administration.