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Man pleads guilty in laser pointer case

Man pleads guilty in laser pointer case

November 21st, 2012 in News

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A 35-year-old suburban St. Charles County man faces sentencing in February after pleading guilty to federal charges for aiming a laser pointer at a police helicopter.

Michael Brandon Smith of O'Fallon pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court. He admitted pointing the beam at a Metro St. Louis Air Support Police helicopter on May 18 while the helicopter was part of a burglary investigation. Federal prosecutors say the green beam impacted the vision of the pilot, forcing him to pull the helicopter away from the burglary search.

The pilot and an observer in the helicopter were able to determine the home where the beam was coming from and saw Smith standing in the driveway with the laser. O'Fallon police responded, arrested Smith and seized the laser.