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Johnson County man gets 6 months for pointing laser at DPS chopper

A Johnson County man who admitted to pointing a green laser at a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter in 2015 has been sentenced to six months in federal prison.

Austin Lawrence Siferd, 25, pleaded guilty to a felony indictment in the case in March.

Siferd was arrested after numerous aircraft, including commercial and FedEx flights, reported laser strikes overnight on July 22, 2015, in the Johnson County area..

The DPS helicopter was sent to the area to investigate and was also struck by the laser.

Authorities pinpointed the origin of the laser to a home in the 9000 block of County Road 604.

Siferd and two other people at the home told sheriff’s deputies that they had been asleep and were not aware of any incident involving a laser.

After being told that the DPS helicopter filmed the incident and pinpointed the location, Siferd asked to speak with authorities privately. He then turned over the green laser to deputies and admitted that he had pointed it at aircraft but said he didn’t realize it would be strong enough to reach them.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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