Jefferson Co. man indicted for aiming laser pointer at helicopter

A stock image of a judge's gavel.
A stock image of a judge's gavel.(Storyblocks)
Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 10:40 AM CST
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A Pinson man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for aiming a laser pointer at a helicopter.

The indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr.

Authorities say on April 11, 2020, Gabriel Lopez Mathews, 26, aimed the beam of a laser pointer at a helicopter operated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

The maximum penalty for aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is five years in prison.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case, along with the Jefferson County Sherriff’s Office and the Birmingham Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Baty is prosecuting the case.

An indictment contains only charges.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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