BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts man has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for shining a powerful green laser beam into a state police helicopter escorting a liquefied natural gas tanker through Boston Harbor.

The U.S. District Attorney’s office in Boston says 52-year-old Gerard Sasso of Medford is the second person in the nation, and the first in Massachusetts, to be convicted of pointing a laser beam on an aircraft.

Prosecutors say Sasso pointed the laser to the helicopter several times at night in December 2007, flooding the cockpit with an intense green light. Pilots directed local police to the light source, but the suspect initially lied to investigators.

Sasso was sentenced Monday on charges including willfully interfering with an aircraft operator with reckless disregard for human life. His attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (6)
  1. Liz says:

    So we send a man to jail for 3 years for that, but we allow drunk drivers to become repeat offenders by having lenient laws/court rulings?

  2. Lisa Valente says:

    Look at it this way. If the helicopter crashed and landed on the LNG tanker, the explosion would have taken out most of Boston. So, I have no problem with this buffoon going to jail.

  3. Ed Dracut says:

    Liz has a good point. Drunks should go to jail as well as this iddiot

  4. Emmit066 says:

    This man was sentenced in Federal court & sent to Federal prison which is completely different than the courts & prisons in Massachusetts.

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