Man charged after laser pointed at Kansas patrol plane

December 19, 2018

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man is facing federal charges after allegedly pointed a laser beam at a Kansas Highway Patrol plane.

Prosecutors say 29-year-old Armando Rodriguez-Leyva was indicted Wednesday on one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft. If convicted, he faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Authorities say the highway patrol plane was flying over south Wichita on Saturday when a green-colored laser flashed on the airplane several times and illuminated the cockpit.

U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a news release that lasers that light up a cockpit are disorienting and can temporarily blind pilots.

The patrol pilot tracked the light to a Wichita home. Officers arrested Rodriguez-Leyva as he was sitting in a car behind the house.

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