(credit: Sara Sotin)
On Friday, a federal judge in Fresno, California re-sentenced a local man to the maximum five years in prison for firing a laser at an emergency transport ambulance helicopter and then a Fresno Police helicopter.
Sergio Rodriguez was originally found guilty of violating two laws: 18 U.S.C. § 39A specifically deals with laser pointers and 18 U.S.C. § 32 is meant to punish those who attempt to destroy aircraft or aircraft facilities. While the first law only carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, Rodriguez was originally sentenced to 14 years in March 2014. Later, that sentence was overturned after Rodriguez appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, and that appellate court overturned the conviction of 18 U.S.C. § 32.
In the June 2015 decision, the appellate judges had unusually blunt language:
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