Orlando man charged with pointing laser at chopper

3:26 PM, Oct 27, 2012   |    comments
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man is facing federal charges after he was arrested for allegedly pointing a laser at a sheriff's department helicopter.

Prosecutors said Friday that 23-year-old Dimitry Maksimchuk of Orlando shined the laser into the cockpit of a Seminole County Sheriff's Department helicopter in July.

If convicted he faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. The charges come from a new law enacted because of a growing number of incidents in which pilots have been distracted or temporarily blinded by lasers.

Maksimchuk's court-appointed attorney did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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