FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTS GARLAND, TEXAS, MAN FOR INTERFERING WITH AN AIRCRAFT
DALLAS — Sammy Don Ladymon, Jr., 45, of Garland, Texas, has been charged in a federal indictment with one count of interference with an aircraft, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Ladymon was arrested on Friday, October 21, 2011, and was released on bond. His trial is set for December 19, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis.
The indictment alleges that on June 2, 2011, Ladymon interfered with persons engaged in the authorized operation of an aircraft in the vicinity of Dallas and Garland, Texas, with a reckless disregard for the safety of human life — he allegedly shined a laser at an aircraft. He is the first person to be charged in a federal indictment in the Northern District of Texas with that offense.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the statutory maximum penalty for interference with an aircraft is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The investigation is being conducted by the FBI with assistance from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Garland Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Penley is in charge of the prosecution.
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