Crime: Drone pilot charged with violating airspace over two NFL games - PressFrom - US
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CrimeDrone pilot charged with violating airspace over two NFL games

11:20  16 may  2019
11:20  16 may  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

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Federal prosecutors have charged a drone pilot with violating airspace regulations in connection with anti-media flyers that were dropped over two Northern California sports stadiums in 2017. Tracy Michael Mapes, 57, of North Highlands, in Sacramento County, was charged Tuesday with violating

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Drone pilot charged with violating airspace over two NFL games© U.S. District Court for Northern California Image: Sacremento drone fly over

Federal prosecutors have charged a drone pilot with violating airspace regulations in connection with anti-media flyers that were dropped over two Northern California sports stadiums in 2017.

Tracy Michael Mapes, 57, of North Highlands, in Sacramento County, was charged Tuesday with violating temporary flight restrictions in national defense airspace at two National Football League games on Nov. 26, 2017.

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SFGate reports that the drone dropped “anti-media leaflets” from the air . The suspect will now face charges related to violations of a federal rule that prohibits flying a drone within five miles of an airport, and a local ordinance that bars drones from the skies within 500 yards of Levi’s Stadium.

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According to an affidavit attached to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Mapes flew a drone that dropped the flyers on spectators at a game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

He then drove to Oakland and dropped flyers over Oakland-Alameda County Stadium, where the Oakland Raiders were playing the Denver Broncos, according to the affidavit, which was filed by an investigating officer with the U.S. Transportation Department.

The flyers bore a red X and read "WARNING! STOP THE TV W---E TAKEOVER!" with additional text alleging government control of the media, according to the affidavit.

Mapes was arrested after Alameda County sheriff's deputies tracked the drone for a half-mile and found Mapes, wearing a retrofitted helmet, piloting the aircraft with an iPad, according to the affidavit, which included still images taken from video recorded by the drone.

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Illegal to fly drone over NFL game . Flying over crowds and near football games is prohibited by federal and local laws. the The anti-media propaganda was released over two NFL games . First, the drone pilot released flyers over Levi’s He was cited for misdemeanor charges and later released.

flying a drone over two NFL games this weekend and dropping political leaflets over the stadiums, reigniting concerns over remote aircraft at major sports Police cited Tracy Michael Mapes, 55, with misdemeanor charges and released him after a drone was spotted over Levi’s Stadium as the San

Mapes told Santa Clara police investigators that he believed spreading his message "outweighed any repercussions," according to the affidavit. Then he bragged about the stunt on Facebook, it said.

The temporary flight restrictions prohibit all aircraft, including drones, from operating within three nautical miles of any stadium seating 30,000 or more people during major events, like the NFL, college football and Major League Baseball games. The restrictions are in effect from one hour before to one hour after the end of the event.

Mapes is scheduled for an initial court appearance on June 4. Records didn't reflect whether he has an attorney.

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