A man accused of flying a drone over Great American Ballpark on opening day this year and another man accused of doing the same during a January playoff game in Bengal have been charged on federal charges, said officials.
You risk a maximum of three years in prison. The other can face up to four years.
On April 12, the Cincinnati Reds’ opening day, officials said Travis Lenhoff flew a drone into the restricted flight area over Great American Ball Park.
Lenhoff, 38, lives in Covington, the data says. When approached on Thursday, he declined to comment.
Three months earlier, during a January playoff game of Bengals at what was then Paul Brown Stadium against the Las Vegas Raiders, officials said 24-year-old Dailon Dabney “illegally flew his drone into the stadium and over the players and parts of the … crowd.”
Officials said Dabney, a resident of Springfield Township, posted a video of the drone flight on social media sites and YouTube.
He could not be reached by phone on Thursday.
A federal grand jury in Cincinnati ruled on the individual incidents on Wednesday, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office press release.
Illegal use of drones a growing problem
US attorney Kenneth Parker said in a statement that the illegal use of drones is a growing problem and “poses a direct risk to players and individuals in the stands.”
“Even if the operator has no intention of causing harm,” Parker said, “the operator can easily lose control and injure someone.”
Any drone that weighs more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. None of the drones allegedly operated by Lenhoff or Dabney were registered with the FAA, officials said, and the men do not have remote pilot certification.
Each of them is charged with operating an unregistered drone, which carries a prison sentence of up to three years. Dabney is also charged with violating a temporary flight restriction, which carries a jail term of up to one year.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Two accused of flying drones over Reds, Bengals games sued