A Clovis man was sentenced in federal court Monday to six months in prison and three years of supervised release for flashing a large laser pointer at a California Highway Patrol plane, temporarily damaging the pilot’s eyes.
Jeremy Scott Danielson, 35, pleaded guilty in March to flashing the patrol plane 18 to 20 times with a powerful green laser. The pointer he used was the size of a flashlight and had a range of 6,000 feet – 40 times beyond the legal limit for a hand-held laser device.
Investigators noted that the laser pointer also is capable of starting fires and had a warning label attached to it.
The pilot and tactical flight officer suffered flash blindness and watery, irritated eyes.
“I keep thinking this offense was committed by a 12-year-old,” U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill said. “But it was not. You could have brought the CHP plane down by blinding the pilot.”