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Press Release

St. Charles County Man Accused of Pointing Laser at Police Helicopter

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS –A man from Lake St. Louis, Missouri has been indicted and accused of pointing a laser at a Metro Air Support helicopter in the St. Louis area.

David Gammil, 44, was indicted in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on March 8 on one count of aiming a laser at an aircraft. Gammil’s indictment says the incident occurred on February 23.

Gammil was arrested Wednesday and made his first appearance in court, where he pleaded not guilty.  

The charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. For years, the FBI and aviation authorities have warned that lasers can blind pilots, and the incidents are on the rise. The Federal Aviation Administration reported 9,457 incidents in 2022, including dozens which resulted in reported injuries.

Charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case was investigated by the St. Charles County Police Department and the FBI.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Lang is prosecuting the case.   

Updated March 15, 2023