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Justice News

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

Friday, October 14, 2016

Cleburne, Texas, Man Sentenced to Six Months in Federal Prison for Aiming a Laser Pointer at Helicopter

DALLAS — Austin Lawrence Siferd, 24, of Cleburne, Texas, was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey to six months in federal prison, announced John Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Siferd pleaded guilty earlier this year to an indictment charging one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft.

According to documents filed in the case, in July 2015, Siferd knowingly aimed the beam of a laser at a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter. Siferd aimed the laser at the helicopter while the helicopter was flying overhead. DPS was responding to reports that several commercial airlines had been hit with a laser in the same area that evening.

The FBI, Texas DPS and Johnson County Sheriff’s Office investigated.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Penley prosecuted.

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Updated October 14, 2016