SAN FRANCISCO — A man accused of using a drone to fall leaflets on audiences at two NFL games from the San Francisco Bay Area was charged with violating federal protection airspace regulations, federal authorities said Wednesday.
Tracy Michael Mapes, 56, of North Highlands, California has been charged May 14, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General said in a statement.
If convicted, he could face up to a year in prison and a fine.
Authorities have said Mapes delivered his drone on Oakland Coliseum through an Oakland Raiders-Denver Broncos game on Nov. 26, 2017.
They’ve said he piloted it on Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara through a San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks game that day.
It’s prohibited to fly a drone and the criteria are met by both venues.
Mapes did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment sent via Facebook.
Authorities said the drone released leaflets at the 49ers game with articles concerning free speech and Mapes’ belief the tv stations are corrupt. Most of the newspapers pulled out of the stadium on t interrupt play and the windy evening.
Surveillance cameras helped detectives track the drone into its owner, who had been seen driving away in the Santa Clara stadium and identified by means of a license plate.
Santa Clara detectives known as their counterparts from Oakland in expectation that Mapes would go there .
Oakland officers seen a drone within flyers and the coliseum had been dropped. That game also was not affected.
Mapes was arrested. Officers mentioned him and released him.
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