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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Rockford Man Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Aiming Laser Pointer at Aircraft

ROCKFORD — A Rockford man was sentenced today in federal court by U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard to 15 months in prison for 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. Wells pleaded guilty to the charge on Aug. 20, 2019.

The sentencing was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; Dan O’Shea, Rockford Chief of Police; and on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security: Marc Sledge, Director of Air and Marine Operations, Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch, and James Gibbons, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott R. Paccagnini.

Topic(s): 
Consumer Protection
National Security
Updated December 17, 2019