Alabama man accused of aiming laser at sheriff’s office helicopter

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, January 27, 2021

An Alabama man was indicted this week on charges that he pointed a laser at a sheriff’s helicopter flying overhead.

If convicted, he faces up to five years in federal prison.

A federal grand dury indicted Gabriel Lopez Mathews, 26, of Pinson, with aiming the beam of a laser at an aircraft.

According to the indictment, on April 11, 2020, Mathews aimed the beam of a laser pointer at a helicopter operated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case, along with the Jefferson County Sherriff’s Office and the Birmingham Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Baty is prosecuting the case.