Orange Park Man, Justin Marland Fisher Indicted For Pointing Laser At Coast Guard Helicopter
Jacksonville, FL (STL.News) United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Justin Marland Fisher (41, Orange Park) with knowingly aiming a laser at an aircraft. If convicted, Fisher faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
According to the indictment, on September 1, 2021, Fisher knowingly aimed the beam of a laser pointer at a United States Coast Guard helicopter while it was conducting a training mission in Green Cove Springs, Florida.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), dangerous laser strikes topped all previous records in 2021. The FAA received 9,723 reports from pilots last year, a 41 percent increase over 2020. Laser strikes on aircraft remain a serious threat to aviation safety. Intentionally aiming lasers at aircrafts poses a safety threat to pilots and violates federal law. Many high-powered lasers can incapacitate pilots flying aircraft that may be carrying hundreds of passengers.
This case was investigated by the Coast Guard Investigative Service. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John Cannizzaro.