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Rincon man sentenced to prison for pointing lasers at airplanes approaching Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport

A plane takes off at Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport.
A plane takes off at Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport.(source: WTOC)
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 12:47 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A Rincon man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to Aiming a Laser Pointer at an Aircraft, according to a release from David Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

Roger Floyd Hendricks, 48, will also serve three years of supervised release after he leaves prison.

In February 2020, the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration began an investigation into three separate green laser strikes on airplanes heading to Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport. One of the pilots who was impacted by a laser strike was able to help investigators locate their origin.

Hendricks was identified and questioned by the FBI, and he pleaded guilty on May 3 in U.S. District Court.

“Hendricks needlessly threatened the safety of the passengers and crew of a commercial aircraft. It is important for the public to understand that pointing any laser, even a small one, at an aircraft can obscure the pilot’s view and jeopardize the safe operations of the aircraft,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta in a statement. “Hopefully this sentencing will send a message that the FBI will not tolerate those engaging in this dangerous behavior and that they will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

WTOC previously reported on the FBI’s investigation into the laser strikes on aircraft in January 2020.

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