Federal Grand Jury Indicts Dallas Man for Aiming a Laser Pointer at Aircraft
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 21, 2013|
DALLAS—A federal grand jury in Dallas has indicted Kenneth Santodomingo, aka Juan Goel Pagan and Juan Joel Pagan, 22, on one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Santodomingo was arrested on January 28, 2013 after a criminal complaint was filed for the offense, and he has been in custody since that time.
According to that complaint, at approximately 4:08 a.m. on January 28, 2013, Dallas Police Department (DPD) officers were operating a DPD helicopter over a residential area in Dallas when the cockpit was illuminated approximately four times by a laser pointer. The intensity of the light obscured the vision of the pilot and impaired the pilot’s ability to control the aircraft.
After the officers in the helicopter pinpointed the location where the laser originated, they directed patrol officers on the ground to a residence in the 7000 block of Lake June Road. Santodomingo answered the officers’ knock at the front door. He admitted having pointed the green laser light at the helicopter to see how far it would go and handed over the laser pointer to the officers at that time.
A federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. If convicted, the maximum statutory penalty is five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case is being investigated by the DPD and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Miller is in charge of the prosecution.