St. Charles man indicted on charges of pointing laser at aircrafts
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced today that Brian David Monday has been indicted for allegedly pointing a green laser beam into the cockpit of an in-flight airplane and helicopter on Nov. 4, 2011 in St. Charles.
The 30-year-old Monday of St. Charles was indicted by a federal grand jury and is facing one felony count of interfering with an airplane and a helicopter.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000 if convicted.
The FBI investigated the case and is warning that pointing a laser at an aircraft is a serious offense.
"It is important to understand that the laser is no longer a pinpoint but a bright spotlight by the time it hits an aircraft," Thomas R. Metz, acting special agent in charge of the FBI St. Louis Division, said. "It interferes with the operation of an aircraft because pilots are temporarily blinded."
The Federal Aviation Administration reports that 2011 had over 3,000 laser strikes on aircrafts nationwide, breaking the record for 2010.