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posted by janrinok on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the it-was-only-a-matter-of-time dept.

Papas Fritas writes:

"Scott Smith reports at AP that 26-year-old Sergio Patrick Rodriguez has been convicted of pointing a green laser at a Fresno Police Department helicopter and sentenced to spend 14 years in federal prison. 'This is not a game. It is dangerous, and it is a felony,' says US Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner. 'Those who aim lasers at aircraft should know that we will seek to convict them, and we will seek to send them to prison. The safety of aircraft and the people in them demands no less.' According to evidence presented at trial, Rodriguez and his girlfriend, Jennifer Lorraine Coleman, 23, used a high-powered green laser pointer 13 times more powerful than common pointers to repeatedly strike the cockpit of Air 1 during a clear summer night in 2012. In imposing the sentence, Judge O'Neill considered not only the severity of the offenses but Rodriguez's criminal history, numerous probation violations, and Bulldog gang affiliation. An expert said that the laser pointer that Rodriguez used was an instrument capable of inflicting serious bodily injury and death due to a high potential for crash caused by visual interference. A jury found Rodriguez guilty of attempting to interfere with safe operation of aircraft and aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft. 'Lasing aircraft is not a joke or a casual prank,' says Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller of the FBI's Sacramento field office. 'Rodriguez's sentence clearly demonstrates the seriousness of his actions and that the FBI will work with its law enforcement partners to locate and arrest those who engage in dangerous, improper use of hand-held lasers that puts us all at risk.'

On February 11, 2014, in 12 cities, the FBI, in collaboration with the Air Line Pilots Association International and the FAA, announced the Laser Threat Awareness campaign, a nationwide effort to alert the public to the threat that aircraft laser illumination poses and the penalties for such activity. The FBI will offer up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of any individual who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft. The program is being rolled out in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Houston and San Antonio, Texas; Los Angeles and Sacramento, California; Philadelphia; Phoenix, Arizona; Cleveland, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; New York; and San Juan, Puerto Rico."

 
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  • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Wednesday March 12 2014, @05:07PM

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday March 12 2014, @05:07PM (#15390) Homepage Journal

    The credit card companies have small businesses over a barrel here. Some places do have minimums, five bucks or something, but they'd have to reprogram all the fuel pumps to have a minimum. That would be expensive.

    I knew a service station owner (closed down 2 years ago, someone with shitloads of money wanted his business so they could raze it) who said margins were really thin on fuel. He made most of his money on car repairs (it was an old-fashioned full service garage) and snacks and lottery tickets and such. He said if someone bought less than five bucks worth of gasoline on a card, he lost money. I just gave him paper checks, cost neither of us anything.

    Also, you have to remember that we're talking gallons here, not litres. It's about a dollar a liter here (3.65 a gallon). I don't have to drive much so two dollars a day is plenty.

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  • (Score: 2) by EvilJim on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:51PM

    by EvilJim (2501) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:51PM (#15517) Journal

    that sucks for the small business owner, I almost cant believe that happens, we've had the $2 limit since I started driving in 1995. fortunately I'm only 2 mins away from work so only spend a max of $20 a week on gas, that includes lunching in town, should really walk :) I guess it's a similar situation to the mobile stands in international airports, I bought a $10 sim card in Sydney recently, it took probably 20 mins to get it installed and working, I hardly see how they can survive making only tiny profits or even loss leaders with no followup charges. they must have been paying their guy far less that $20 per hour to stand at that kiosk.