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Assault Helicopter Flight Crew Temporarily Blinded | Louisiana man pleas guilty

By: T. Cahill

New Orleans, LA (May 6) – Charles Clausen, age 58, and a resident of Hammond, Louisiana, pled guilty May 4, 2010, to charges filed against him for “impeding and interfering with certain officers of the United States”. Arrested October 28, 2009, Clausen’s charges stem from an FBI and Federal Air Marshal Service investigation after a complaint received from the U.S. Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 244 Assault Helicopter Battalion. On October 6, during a routine training operation, Clausen “aimed a Brinkmann Q-Beam, three million candle power flood light at the military aircraft in an effort to deter it from flying near his home.”

The crew, using night vision to land, were temporarily blinded. Night vision goggles automatically shut down if exposed to too much light. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten stated, “Today’s conviction of an individual who interfered with military helicopter flight operations by attempting to blind the crews is evidence of our commitment to bring federal laws to bear to protect those men and women of the military who in turn make sacrifices to protect us.” Letten further concluded, “We will not tolerate abuses of the military, nor will we tolerate interference with the safety and efficiency of transportation in this country.”

Sentencing is scheduled for June 8, 2010. Clausen faces up to one year in prison, a $100,000 fine, and one year of supervision after his release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory M. Kennedy is prosecuting the case.

Posted by on May 6, 2010. Filed under National News,US Criminal Justice,WorldNewsVine. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

One Response to Assault Helicopter Flight Crew Temporarily Blinded | Louisiana man pleas guilty

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