A 19-year-old North Hollywood man faces up to five years in prison for shining a laser at a business jet and then aiming the "commercial-grade" device at a police helicopter sent to find the source.
Adam Gardenhire pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Los Angeles to a single count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, court papers show. U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson set Jan. 28 for sentencing.
According to the plea agreement, the crimes took place last March 29 when Gardenhire targeted a Cessna Citation and a Pasadena police helicopter.
Laser beams, even penlight-style pointers, can temporarily blind pilots. Though lasers project a tiny beam over relatively short distances, the diameter of the beam grows significantly over the distance of a few miles.