Drone Pilot Sentenced for Buzzing VA Fire Station

Feb. 24, 2022
A drone pilot who repeatedly buzzed a Salem fire station was sentenced to two years probation by a Virginia judge.

A drone pilot who plead guilty to flying his drone into a Salem fire station and dive-bombing firefighters with the device was sentenced to two years of probation.

James Weeks flew his unregistered drone into the station harassing firefighters for close to 10 minutes in July 2019.

The drone pilot apparently lost contact with the drone after a firefighter closed the bay doors, and the aircraft struck a pole, bounced off an ambulance and crashed to the floor, The Roanoke Times reported.

Later that same day, Weeks went to the Salem Police Department to regain his drone telling them a friend was flying it.

Police informed him it was seized as part of an investigation and he told police he was the pilot operating the unregistered drone.

“It was an absolutely stupid mistake,” Weeks said during a sentencing hearing in Roanoke’s federal court. “I totally regret the decision I made."

In addition to probation, Weeks had to give up ownership of the drone as part of his plea agreement.

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