A man in Minnesota who shot down a drone is now hit with two felony charges. The drone pilot was flying his unmanned aircraft over a meat processing facility in the Southern Minnesota town of Butterfield when it was shot down.
Man hit with two felony charges after shooting down a drone
The pilot flew his drone over the facilities of Butterfield Foods, a meat producer in the town of Butterfield, to take aerial photos and try to prove that the company was slaughtering chickens because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Two Butterfield Foods employees approached the drone pilot and asked him what he was doing. Shortly thereafter a person shot the drone out of the sky. The pilot said that his drone costs $1,900.
According to ARS Technica, local authorities arrested 24-year-old Travis Duance Winters who admitted to shooting down the drone. He has been charged in the Watonwan County District Court and faces charges of criminal damage to property and reckless discharge of a weapon within the limits of the city.
Shooting down an aircraft is a federal crime, whether it is a manned or unmanned aircraft. Over the last few years, we have seen a number of cases in which a drone was being shot at. However, we have yet to see anybody being prosecuted under federal law for any of these offenses.
In Wilkesboro, NC the town council recently tried to make it illegal to fly a drone over a chicken processing plant.
What do you think about this case and the two felony charges that the shooter is hit with? Is that enough or should he be prosecuted under federal law as well? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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