Crime

Oak Island man indicted on charge of pointing laser at helicopter

A federal grand jury in Raleigh indicted a Brunswick County man Wednesday on a charge that he intentionally aimed a laser pointer at a helicopter in flight.

Christopher Lee Funk, 34, of Oak Island faces up to 5 years in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

The alleged incident took place this summer at Oak Island, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman, but otherwise no details were released. The indictment was announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office but has not been made public.

Federal officials have been cracking down on incidents of people pointing lasers at aircraft in flight. According to the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration, 3,960 laser strikes against aircraft were reported last year, and thousands more likely went unreported.

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