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Man Sentenced To 30 Months For Pointing Laser At Airplane

A man in California has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for pointing a laser at a small jet as it approached the runway at Burbank airport.

Adam Gardenhire, 19, of North Hollywood, was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty in October to one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, according to The Pasadena Star-News.

He was arrested on March 29 after authorities said he aimed a "commercial-grade" green laser at the NetJet Cessna Citation coming in for a landing, reportedly leaving the pilot temporarily with impaired vision. Later, authorities say Gardenhire pointed the laser at a police helicopter sent to identify the source of the concentrated light.

The judge in Garedenhire's case said the prison term should serve to send a message to others, according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Laser-pointing laws are common in many states and the president last year signed a measure to make it a federal crime to deliberately aim a laser at an aircraft.

The phenomenon is not uncommon, with a report earlier this month that two men were arrested in Tucson for the a similar crime.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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