U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash.
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News Release
Man Indicted on Federal Charges for Aiming a Laser Pointer at Spokane County Sheriff's Helicopter and Life Flight Helicopter - 02/12/24

Spokane, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that a federal grand jury has indicted Johnny R. Blackstock on 2 federal felonies in connection to Aiming a Laser Pointer at an Aircraft.

On October 13, 2023, Blackstock shined a laser at a Life Flight helicopter that was transporting a patient in the Spokane area. A short time later, Blackstock shined a laser at the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Air One helicopter that was on routine patrol in the area. 

“Pointing a laser at an aircraft can have life-threatening consequences. Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies protecting the community and first responders life-flighting a patient for medical help face extreme danger from actions like this,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “I am grateful for our law enforcement partners and first responders who put themselves at risk to protect and serve our community.” 

This case is being investigated by the United States Department of Transportation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Cashman. 

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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