California court issues criminal charges against Orange County man for unsafe drone use

According to the attorney’s office for the Central District of California, an Orange County man has pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for unsafely operating a drone aircraft on several occasions, including once flying it near a United States Coast Guard helicopter in mid-flight off the coast of Laguna Beach. Alexander Milinovic, 62, of Laguna Beach, pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of unsafe operation of an unmanned aircraft. According to his plea agreement, Milinovic unsafely operated a drone on three occasions from June 2022 to March 2023.

US District Judge Fred W. Slaughter scheduled a November 28 sentencing hearing, at which time Milinovic will face a statutory maximum sentence of one year in federal prison for each count. The FBI and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigated this matter as part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force with assistance from the Federal Aviation Administration and the United States Coast Guard.

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