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Laguna Beach man sentenced to community service for drone launches

A drone over a football game in 2016. Drones are used to film practices.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)
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A 62-year-old Laguna Beach man was placed on one year of probation and ordered to do 120 hours of community service Tuesday for launching drones near three aircrafts, risking dangerous crashes. Alexander Milinovic pleaded guilty July 13 to three misdemeanor counts of unsafe operation of an unmanned aircraft, federal prosecutors said.

U.S. District Judge Fred Slaughter also fined the defendant $7,500. On June 19 last year, he directed a drone at a father and son in an open-cockpit gyrocopter on Father’s Day off the coast of Crescent Bay Beach in Laguna Beach, prompting the son, who was flying the aircraft, to make an emergency evasive maneuver, according to federal prosecutors.

The defendant also admitted launching a drone on July 26 of last year at the Discovery Channel “Shark Week” blimp in the Laguna Beach area, prosecutors said.

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Milinovic also admitted launching a drone at U.S. Coast Guard helicopter on March 19, missing it by about 200 feet, prosecutors said. The crew aboard the helicopter managed to steer just clear of it, prosecutors said.

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