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16May 2019

Update: Leaflet dropping drone pilot now faces charges for violating airspace over 2 NFL stadiums

Update: Leaflet dropping drone pilot now faces charges for violating airspace over 2 NFL stadiums

The drone pilot responsible for dropping swastika-themed flyers near Sacramento recently now faces charges for his shenanigans in November 2017.

On November 26, 2017, Tracy Mapes used his drone to drop anti-media leaflets over two NFL stadiums - Levi's Stadium and Oakland-Alameda County Stadium. Mapes is facing charges for violating temporary flight restrictions in "national defense airspace."

On Tuesday, the federal complaint was filed in San Jose Federal Court. U.S. attorneys and the Department of Transportation announced the charges in a joint statement on Wednesday. Mapes will stand before a federal magistrate on June 4, 2019, in San Jose. If convicted, Mapes could face up to one year in jail and a $100,000 fine.

According to FAA regulations, the airspace above stadiums during NFL and Major League Baseball games is designated as "national defense airspace" and has prohibited all civilian aircraft, including drones, from flying within three nautical miles of a stadium during games. 

These charges come just weeks after Mapes dropped anti-media leaflets outside an Ariana Grande concert and over a fundraising dinner in Sacramento. He also posted a video on YouTube, giving a drone's eye view of leaflets falling above the California State Capitol building.

We will keep you updated as more details develop.

Source: NBC News

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