FBI Atlanta
Special Agent Stephen Emmett
(770) 216-3120
June 12, 2014

Georgia State Patrol Helicopter Damaged by Gunfire

ATLANTA, GA—On June 11, 2014, the Talbot County Sheriff’s Department notified FBI agents in Columbus, Georgia, of an incident involving gunshots fired on a Georgia State Patrol (GSP) helicopter operating in the area as part of the Georgia Governor’s Marijuana Eradication Task Force. The GSP helicopter, while operating near a residence in Geneva, Georgia, heard several gunshots and then observed an individual in what appeared to be a shooting stance. The helicopter crew took evasive action, reported the incident to law enforcement on the ground, and then landed. Upon inspection of the aircraft, it was determined that there was damage to the GSP helicopter’s main rotor blades.

Law enforcement units responding to the residence at that location found the resident, James Fryer, age 59, outside and visibly upset.

Subsequent investigation resulted in Fryer being charged by the FBI with violation of Title 18, Section 32, destruction of aircraft.

Fryer will have an initial appearance in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Hyles at Columbus, Georgia, this morning, Thursday, June 12, 2014, at 10:00 a.m.

The public should be reminded that the above are merely allegations and that all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.