Alabama Man Gets Prison for Pointing Laser at Helicopter

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – An Alabama man has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison for aiming a laser at a helicopter last year. U.S. District Judge Anna M. Manasco sentenced 27-year-old Gabriel Lopez Mathews, who pleaded guilty to the charge in April. U.S. Attorney Prim Escalona for the Northern District of Alabama said Wednesday in a news release that pointing a laser at an aircraft can disorient the pilot and cause the aircraft to crash. Last year, the FAA investigated 3,169 incidents compared to 5,663 in 2018.

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