Remember the two Fresnans who were arrested for pointing a laser beam at a California Highway Patrol airplane?
They entered guilty pleas in federal court this week and are scheduled for sentencing Jan. 30.
According to their plea agreements, on July 22, 2018, Carlos Villa-Lozano and Paulina Silva Aguilar used a dangerously bright green laser pointer, a Model 301, to strike a CHP fixed-wing aircraft about 12 times. The laser strikes caused the CHP airmen temporary blindness and disorientation.
In addition, Villa-Lozano obstructed justice by misrepresenting the nature of his involvement in the crime.
Maximum Sentence of Five Years
They face a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The Model 301 laser pointer has a prominent warning label that indicates that the laser is dangerous and should not be pointed at the eye.
This particular model is advertised as emitting 500 milliwatts of power and having the ability to burn a match. According to the Food and Drug Administration, handheld lasers are limited to 5 milliwatts output. Lasers that emit more than 5 and up to 500 milliwatts of power are dangerous and may cause permanent eye damage.
FAA: 16 Laser Incidents a Day in 2019
Apparently, people aren’t getting the word that lasers aren’t toys. The Federal Aviation Administration says there has been an average of nearly 16 laser incidents a day in 2019.
The FBI and CHP put together the case against Villa-Lozano and Silva. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar is the prosecutor.