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US: Pilot's video & research helps FBI find & convict Chicago-area man
Two years probation, $250 fine and 240 hours of community service
Essential to the conviction was a video analysis done by a pilot who had been illuminated multiple times by Heeringa.
Later on the ground, Guerra used Google Earth to determine landmarks. He posted a video on YouTube showing his results. In the video, an area of about 50 homes is highlighted as the “Approximate Laser Location”:
Armed with this information, the FBI conducted a door-to-door search. At one home they were told a resident had a laser pointer. The resident -- Heeringa -- was questioned and admitted aiming at aircraft. On April 4 2011, he was charged with 14 counts of aggravated assault based on seven incidents with two counts each. As noted above, on July 12 2011 he pleaded guilty and was sentenced.
Heeringa’s house (A) is located about 5 miles
from Midway International Airport.
From the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark: July 15 2011 story about the sentence; April 5 2011 story about the pilot’s video and Heeringa’s sentencing. The video can be viewed via both stories. It is also available directly from YouTube.