A Tampa man accused in October of pointing a laser at a police helicopter is now facing a federal charge.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said in a news release Wednesday that 40-year-old Mark White has been charged with knowingly aiming a laser at an aircraft. He faces up to 5 years in prison.
Tampa police previously reported that the helicopter was targeted by a blue laser in the early morning hours of Oct. 11 while conducting routine flight operations. The air crew directed patrol units on the ground to the area where the laser was coming from.
Authorities said they found White in the backyard of a home with a blue laser.
A telephone message left by The Associated Press at a listing for White wasn't immediately returned.