Man Who Pointed Laser At CHP Chopper Gets Federal Prison Time

RIVERSIDE (AP) — A Southern California man has been sentenced to 19 months in federal prison for pointing a laser at a California Highway Patrol helicopter.

Prosecutors say 19-year-old Nathan Wells, who was arrested last year in Cathedral City, pleaded guilty in September to a felony count of interference with an operator of an aircraft.

Besides the prison sentence, a Riverside federal judge on Monday ordered ordered Wells to be on supervised release for three years, during which he must spend three months at a community corrections center administered by the United States Bureau of Prisons.

The CHP helicopter was helping Cathedral City police handle a residential burglary report when a bright green light hit the cockpit. The pilot and a crew member had to look away from the laser and alter their course.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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