Chinese National Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Acting Within the U.S. as an Unregistered Agent of the People’s Republic of China
ROCKFORD — A Rockford man pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard to aiming the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft.
BRENTON WELLS, 45, admitted in a written plea agreement that on Dec. 6, 2018, while standing in the backyard of a residence in Rockford, he knowingly aimed his laser pointer at an aircraft flying over the residence. Wells also admitted that he continued to aim his laser pointer at the aircraft for a period of time even as the aircraft moved through the sky over the residence.
Sentencing is set for Dec. 10, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. Wells faces a maximum potential penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence will be determined by the United States District Court, guided by the Sentencing Guidelines.
The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI, and Dan O’Shea, Rockford Chief of Police. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott R. Paccagnini.