Written by The Business Journal Staff
A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment Thursday against Carlos Villa-Lozano, 30, and Paulina Silva Aguilar, 32, both of Fresno, charging them with aiming the beam of a laser pointer at a California Highway Patrol aircraft.
Villa-Lozano was also charged separately with making false statements to an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The indictment alleges that on July 22, Villa-Lozano and Silva used a dangerously bright green laser pointer to strike a CHP fixed-wing aircraft approximately 12 times. The indictment further alleges that Villa-Lozano materially misrepresented to the FBI agent that the laser device was used for one to two seconds “at most” and hit the aircraft only one time.
Villa-Lozano and Silva are scheduled for an arraignment on the indictment on Dec. 21 in federal court in Fresno. If convicted, Villa-Lozano and Silva face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of the false statement offense, Villa-Lozano faces an additional five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court.