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.
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