Brandon man faces federal charge of pointing laser at helicopter

Published June 27, 2014

TAMPA — For the second time this month, a federal grand jury has charged someone in Hillsborough County with pointing a laser at a Tampa police helicopter.

Bradley Alan Steffes, 29, a welder from Brandon, was indicted Thursday.

Tampa police arrested him June 5 on state charges but pointing lasers at aircraft is also a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

Jeremy Wayne Sumpter, 29, of Tampa was indicted June 17, based on an incident that occurred in February.

The FBI launched a 90-day program in early June that pays rewards up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest of an individual who points a laser at an aircraft. To report an incident, call 911 or the FBI Tampa field office at (813) 253-1000.