Man Accused of Flying Drone At NFL Games Charged With A Year In Prison and A $100k Fine
According to Kiro7, a man accused of using a drone to drop anti-media leaflets on crowds at two NFL games in the San Francisco Bay Area was charged with violating national defense airspace regulations, federal authorities said Wednesday.
Tracy Michael Mapes, 56, of North Highlands was charged May 14, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General said in a statement.
He could face up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine if convicted.
Authorities have said Mapes sent his drone over Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara during a Nov. 26, 2017, game between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. Later the same day, he is accused of piloting it over Oakland Coliseum during a Raiders-Denver Broncos game.
It is illegal to fly a drone within five miles of an airport, and both venues meet the criteria.
Mapes did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment sent via Facebook.
Police said the drone released leaflets at the 49ers game with content about free speech and Mapes’ belief that television stations are corrupt. Most of the papers blew out of the stadium on the windy, rainy day and didn’t disrupt play. Continue reading about the punishment one drone pilot received.
This story has been corrected to say that the charges were announced by the Department of Transportation, not the Department of the Interior.