June 3, 2015

Former Garland, Texas Man Sentenced to Eight Months in Federal Prison for Aiming a Laser Pointer at Helicopter

DALLAS—A former resident of Garland, Texas, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to an indictment charging one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, was sentenced today, announced John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Steven Alexander Chavez, Jr., 23, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to eight months in federal prison.

According to documents filed in the case, in August 2013, Chavez knowingly aimed the beam of a laser at a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter. Chavez aimed the laser at the helicopter from the backyard of a friend, while the helicopter was flying overhead.

A few days later, special agents with the FBI arrested Chavez in Lubbock, Texas, where he had recently relocated from Garland. Following his initial court appearance, he was released on bond.

The FBI, Texas DPS and Garland Police Department investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Burns prosecuted.