DENVER—The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces Kevin William Adamchak, age 43, of Franktown, pleaded guilty to a single count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft.
According to the plea agreement, on March 2, 2023, a helicopter operated by the Denver Police Department, “Air 1,” was assisting other Colorado-based law enforcement agencies with aerial surveillance. While in flight, Air 1 was struck by a blue laser. Using a thermal imager and camera, the Air 1 crew determined that the laser strike originated from a parking lot near the intersection of East 55th Avenue and Logan Court in Denver. Air 1 located a suspect associated with the laser strike, who was later identified as Defendant Adamchak.
During a subsequent interview, the pilot of Air 1 at the time of the laser strike reported that the laser strike caused flash blindness and intense pain in both of his eyes. He was able to maintain control of the aircraft until his visual orientation returned.
“What some may think is just a prank—pointing a laser pointer at an aircraft—actually presents a deadly risk to people in the aircraft and on the ground,” said United States Attorney Cole Finegan. “We hope that this case will raise public awareness of these serious dangers.”
"A laser strike on an aircraft is not a game," said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek. "It's a serious action with possibly lethal consequences. The FBI will continue to vigorously investigate these incidents."
Adamchak is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2024. A United States District Judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The FBI investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorneys Jena Neuscheler and Alecia Riewerts are handling the prosecution.
Case Number: 23-cr-00303-RMR