Virginia Individual Sentenced for Operating Unregistered UAS
On February 22, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia sentenced James Russell Weeks, III to 24 months of probation, a $100 fine, and a $100 special assessment. On November 5, 2021, Weeks pleaded guilty to operating an unregistered aircraft following a grand jury indictment on March 25, 2021. The investigation determined that on July 25, 2019, an unregistered unmanned aircraft system (UAS) approached firefighters outside the Salem Fire Department, harassed them, and followed the firefighters into the fire station. The Salem Police Department confiscated the UAS after it crashed inside the station. On the same day, Weeks went to the police station and identified himself as the owner of the UAS.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Salem, Virginia Police Department.