An Omaha man was sentenced to two years in prison Monday for aiming a laser pointer at pilots.
Michael A. Smith, 30, was found guilty of directing a laser at aircraft by U.S. District Court Judge John Gerrard in April. He could have faced five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Smith was arrested on July 11, 2012. Deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office found Smith pointing a laser at incoming aircraft from his backyard near 152nd Street and Nebraska Avenue.
The laser temporarily blinded a Southwest Airlines pilot, who reported the incident. An Omaha police helicopter responded and was also distracted by the laser in the same vicinity.
He was still aiming the laser in the direction of the helicopter when a deputy walked into his backyard in northwest Omaha.
Smith had previously been fined $9,000 by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to federal court documents.