(LAS VEGAS, KXNT)–A Henderson man has been indicted for allegedly aiming a laser pointer at police helicopters.
30 year old James Zipf allegedly used the pointer to target Metro Police helicopters on six occasions from late January to February 12th of this year.
He is being arraigned before a federal magistrate and could face five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine on each of the six counts.
U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said in a news release, “”Congress enacted a new federal statute in 2012 dealing with laser strikes, which makes it a felony to knowingly target an aircraft with a laser,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “We have partnered with our local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to catch individuals who are engaging in this dangerous behavior, which can disorient and temporarily blind a pilot. If you have information about a lasing incident or see someone pointing a laser at an aircraft, call your local FBI field office or dial 911.”
Federal authorities say they began tracking laser strikes in 2005. Last year, there were close to 4,000 incidents, about 11 per day.