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Pasco man sentenced for pointing laser at deputies' helicopter

 
Ryan Fluke, 27, of Port Richey, faces a felony charge for misuse of a laser pointer after authorities said he aimed the pointer at a helicopter that was assisting Pasco deputies on Dec. 5, 2017, blinding the pilot. [Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
Ryan Fluke, 27, of Port Richey, faces a felony charge for misuse of a laser pointer after authorities said he aimed the pointer at a helicopter that was assisting Pasco deputies on Dec. 5, 2017, blinding the pilot. [Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
Published March 28, 2019

TAMPA — A Pasco County man has been sentenced to a year and nine months in federal prison for aiming a laser pointer at a police helicopter.

Court records show that 28-year-old Ryan Fluke was sentenced last week in Tampa federal court. He pleaded guilty in November to aiming a laser at an aircraft.

Prosecutors say a Pasco County Sheriff's Office helicopter was flying over Fluke's Port Richey neighborhood in December 2017, assisting deputies with a man who had barricaded himself inside a home. Deputies say Fluke pointed a laser at the helicopter, causing a high-intensity red laser beam to enter the interior cockpit and temporarily blind and disorientate the crewmembers. The aircraft was forced to abandon air support for the ground units.

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