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Press Release

Omaha Man Sentenced for Aiming Laser Pointer at OPD Helicopter

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

Acting United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Richard C. Detty, 34, of Omaha, Nebraska, was sentenced on November 1, 2023, in federal court in Omaha for aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft. United States District Court Judge Brian C. Buescher sentenced Detty to 15 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. After Detty’s release from prison, he will begin a 2-year term of supervised release.

At about 9:30 pm on October 23, 2021, Detty was outside his workplace in Omaha when he aimed a laser pointer at a helicopter flying overhead. It was the Omaha Police Department helicopter, which was on patrol at the time. The beam illuminated the helicopter’s cockpit. The pilot was startled but maintained level flight, and neither the pilot nor the observer in the helicopter were injured.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Omaha Police Department. 


Lecia Wright - Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney  (402) 661-3700

Updated November 3, 2023