Local man faces prison for illegally pointing laser at helicopter
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
McALLEN – A 42-year-old man from Edcouch has pleaded guilty to aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Luz Fernando Solis admitted that on May 3, he knowingly aimed the beam of a laser pointer at a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter.
The aircraft was providing assistance to local law enforcement when a laser beam struck the DPS helicopter twice. Authorities observed an individual, later identified as Solis, at the location where the laser beams originated.
They conducted a search of his residence and found the laser pointer.
Lasers have a dangerous effect on pilots when the beams of light strike an aircraft. The light can temporarily blind them. A laser, when aimed at an aircraft, can create a visual distraction or cause discomfort or even damage to a pilot’s eyes.
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez will impose sentencing on Feb. 11, 2021. At that time, Solis faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Solis was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.
The FBI and DPS conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Frances Blake Land is prosecuting the case.
Updated April 18, 2023