A man in Minnesota who shot down a drone is now hit with two felony charges. The drone pilot was flying his unmanned aircraft over a meat processing facility in the Southern Minnesota town of Butterfield when it was shot down.
A 24-year-old man from Minnesota who shot down a drone has now been hit with two felony charges. The drone was flown over the Butterfield Foods meat processing facility in the Southern Minnesota town of Butterfield when is it was shot down. As you may be aware, shooting down aircraft, regardless if it’s manned or unmanned is a federal crime.
The drone pilot wanted to take aerial photos of the meat processing facility to prove that Butterfield Foods was slaughtering chickens because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The pilot was approached by to Butterfield Foods employees who asked him what he was doing. Soon thereafter the drone was shot off out of the air. The pilot said that his drone costs $1900.
24-year-old Travis Duance Winters was arrested and admitted to local law enforcement that he indeed had shot the drone out of the air.
He has been charged in the Watonwan County District Court and has been hit with charges for criminal damage to property and reckless discharge of a weapon within the limits of the city, according to ARS Technica.
It is a federal crime to shoot at an aircraft, regardless if it is manned or unmanned. In recent years we have seen a number of such incidents, but we have not yet heard of anybody being prosecuted under federal law.
Recently the Wilkesboro town in North Carolina tried to make it illegal to fly a drone over a chicken processing plant. Our Vic Moss got involved in that case and has tried to explain to the town that the only government body that has full authority over the national airspace if the Federal Aviation Administration and that making laws that apply specifically for drones while airborne in the town of Wilkesboro can and likely will be challenged in the court of law.
Photo by Josh Sorenson on Unsplash
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