Mississippi man pleads to pointing lasers at Memphis planes


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Mississippi man has pleaded guilty to pointing a green laser at FedEx airplanes flying into Memphis International Airport in Tennessee, federal prosecutors said.

Eugene Conrad of Michigan City, Mississippi, faces up to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty Wednesday to aiming a laser pointer at aircraft, the U.S. attorney’s office said. His sentencing is scheduled for March 10.

The Federal Aviation Administration told the FBI in July that airplanes flying into the busy airport from the east were being hit in the cockpit and cabin by a green laser coming from Hardeman County in Tennessee and Benton County in Mississippi.

Officials reported 49 strikes, mainly on FedEx airplanes, from January to July, prosecutors said.

A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation airplane with a camera attached reported laser strikes against it the night of Aug. 11, prosecutors said.

Agents identified the origin of the lasers and found Conrad, 52, in front of a home in Benton County. They found a green laser pointer in an outdoor trash can.

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