Virginia Beach man sentenced for pointing laser at Navy jets

Virginia Beach man sentenced for pointing laser at Navy jets

Virginia Beach man sentenced for pointing laser at Navy jets

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Associated Press

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 19 at 1:37 PM

NORFOLK (AP) -- A Virginia Beach man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for aiming a laser pointer at Naval aviators and their jets near Naval Air Station Oceana. 

The U.S. attorney's office said Friday that 56-year-old Robert Bruce was also fined $4,000 for harassing the pilots.

Congress passed a law in February that specifically prohibits such actions, which threaten pilots' vision.  He faced a maximum possible penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Agents with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service video recorded Bruce repeatedly directing his later pointer at Naval aircraft in flight and seized his handheld laser pointer.

Court documents say Bruce pointed the laser at the jets because he was angry about the noise the jets made.

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