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He pointed a laser at a Coast Guard helicopter, feds say. That’s a federal crime.

Two Coast Guard Investigative Service agents make an arrest in Puerto Rico, Jan. 17, 2019. The man faces charges of projecting several laser strikes on a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Two Coast Guard Investigative Service agents make an arrest in Puerto Rico, Jan. 17, 2019. The man faces charges of projecting several laser strikes on a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Federal agents arrested a man in Puerto Rico on charges he pointed a laser at a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter in June.

Coast Guard Investigative Service agents based in San Juan arrested the man, whose name they have not released, on Thursday, according to a press release.

He’s accused of projecting a green laser beam several times into the cockpit of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter based at Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen. The pilot landed the helicopter after noticing the beam.

Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is a federal offense that carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.

“This type of crime affects the Coast Guard in a profound way since it impairs the ability to respond to rescues at sea and detect vessels involved in criminal acts, and could cause serious injury to the pilot’s eyesight,” Miguel Angel Rivera-Cuadrado, Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent in charge of San Juan, said in a statement.

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