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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Schertz Man Admits to Pointing Laser at San Antonio Police Helicopter Flying Overhead

In San Antonio today, 37-year-old Justin John Shorey of Schertz, TX, admitted to aiming a laser pointer at a San Antonio Police Department helicopter flying overhead, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs.

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard B. Farrer, Shorey pleaded guilty to the charge.  He faces up to five years in federal prison.  He remains in custody at this time.  No sentencing date has been scheduled.

According to the factual basis filed in this case, to which Shorey admitted in court, on February 17, 2019, Shorey knowingly aimed the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft and the flight path thereof. The aircraft, a San Antonio Police Department helicopter, was assisting in the search of a shooting suspect while orbiting just north of Highway 90 West.  When the laser beam made contact with the helicopter, it hit the pilot in the eyes affecting his ability to see and read his gauges.  The pilot and his tactical officer onboard began a search for the laser suspect.  Shorey admitted to aiming the laser at the aircraft once as it approached his location in the 2100 block of Hays Street in San Antonio and twice as it circled above him. 

The pilot managed to land safely at the San Antonio International Airport.  The injury to the pilot’s eyes caused by the defendant’s actions resulted in the pilot being unable to fly for a week.

If you have information about a lasing incident, contact the San Antonio FBI at 210-225-6741.  If you see someone pointing a laser at an aircraft, call the nearest local law enforcement agency immediately by dialing 911. Tips can also be submitted online at https://tips.fbi.gov.

The San Antonio Police Department and the FBI conducted this investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Roomberg and William R. Harris are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

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Updated November 20, 2019