Man convicted of pointing lasers at planes

COSTA MESA, Calif. Prosecutors said 37-year-old Dana Welch intentionally aimed a green handheld laser at a United Airlines flight and an Alaska Airlines flight on May 21, 2008. Police followed the laser beam to Welch's home in Orange and arrested him the next day.

Welch admitted to the charges and admitted he also pointed a laser at a Costa Mesa Police helicopter that was investigating the incidents. The same jury that convicted him of aiming the laser at the two airliners, acquitted him of charges he interfered with the operations of the helicopter.

Welch was convicted of two felony counts, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced September 15.


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