FBI Seizes Drone Violating 'No Drone Zone'
Operator Charged in a Federal Criminal Complaint
(TAMPA)—An Orlando man is charged in a federal criminal complaint for violating national defense airspace after FBI agents detected his drone flying in a restricted area. Henry Alejandro Jimenez, (33), faces a maximum penalty of one year in federal prison.
On February 3, 2021, FBI agents saw an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), commonly referred to as a “drone,” flying near the Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk—an area within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR).
Jimenez, who is an FAA-licensed remote pilot UAS operator, stated that he was aware that a TFR was in place for the Super Bowl.
Since the Super Bowl TFR went into effect on January 29th, (27) drone operators were contacted, the majority of whom were given verbal warnings.
“Our goal is your safety this week and part of that effort is enforcing the NO DRONE ZONE,” said Michael McPherson, special agent in charge of FBI Tampa. “This is a perfect example of the serious consequences drone operators face when they choose to ignore the temporary flight restrictions.”
The FBI was given countering unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) authority in 2018 with the passage of the Preventing Emerging Threats Act. We are prepared to utilize that authority if such a decision is made to maintain the security of an event.
The FBI continues to work closely with our state and local law enforcement partners to assess any potential threats to public safety. As always, the FBI asks the public to maintain awareness of your surroundings and to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.
The public should be reminded the above allegations are merely allegations and that all persons are to be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.