Daniel F. Dangler, 29, of Philadelphia, was charged today by information with aiming the beam of a laser at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Dangler allegedly aimed a laser pointer at a Philadelphia television news helicopter on July 18, 2012.
On February 14, 2012, President Barack Obama signed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which modernizes the nation’s aviation system. This act establishes a new criminal offense for aiming the beam of a laser at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States or at the flight path of such an aircraft. The statute was enacted in response to a growing number of incidents of pilots being distracted or even temporarily blinded by laser beams.
If convicted the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years’ supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian K. Fitzpatrick.