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Press Release

Dallas Man Admits Aiming a Laser Pointer at an Aircraft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas

DALLAS — Orlando Jose Chapa, 37, of Dallas appeared before U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor this morning and pleaded guilty to an indictment charging one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Chapa, who will remain on bond pending sentencing, faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.  A sentencing date has not been set.

According to documents filed in the case, on or about May 30, 2015, in the Dallas Division of the Northern District of Texas, Chapa knowingly aimed the beam of a laser pointer at a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter and at the flight path of that aircraft.  Chapa aimed the laser at the helicopter from his driveway as it was flying overhead.

The FBI, Texas DPS and the Dallas Police Department are investigating.  Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Burns is prosecuting.

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Updated February 4, 2016