Man formally charged for flying drone over Prescott wildfire

MAYER, Ariz. (AP) - Yavapai County prosecutors have formally charged a man with two counts of felony endangerment for flying a drone over a Prescott wildfire.

In a complaint filed Wednesday and made public Thursday, prosecutors say 54-year-old Gene Alan Carpenter of Prescott Valley hampered firefighting efforts and recklessly endangered aircraft and fire crews in the air and on the ground by flying an unmanned drone in closed airspace above an active fire area.
 
County sheriff's deputies tracked down Carpenter on June 30 after spotting a man flying the drone within hours of the fire being reported in the Prescott National Forest.
 
His arrest was announced the following day.
 
A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for July 21 in Mayer Justice Court.
 
It was unclear Thursday if Carpenter has a lawyer yet.
 
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