Philip G. Reinhard, a US District Judge, sentenced a Rockford man to 15 months in the federal prison today. According to the court documents, the man was charged with pointing a laser pointer at an aircraft.
Brenton Wells, a 45-year-old man, pleaded guilty in the court via a plea agreement. He admitted that he was involved in aiming a laser pointer beam at an aircraft. According to the written plea agreement, Wells knowingly pointed the laser beam at an aircraft that was flying over his residency. He committed this crime while he was standing in the backyard of a residence in Rockford.
The written plea agreement was delivered to the court on August 20, 2019. According to the agreement, Wells admitted that he continued pointing the beam at an aircraft for a period of time. The aircraft was moving through the sky over the residence. John R. Lausch, Jr., the US attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Emmerson Buie, Jr., the special agent-in-charge of the FBI’s Chicago Office, and Dan O’Shea, the chief of Rockford Police, announced the sentence in the court.
The sentenced was announced on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security by Marc Sledge, the Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch’s director of air and marine operations, and James Gibbons, the special agent-in-charge of the Homeland Security Investigations’ Chicago Field Office. Scott R. Paccagnini, an assistant US attorney, represented the government in the case.
Wells will spend 15 months in the federal prison, according to Judge Reinhard. It is a severe crime to point laser beam on an aircraft knowingly.