Man shoots down drone ‘harassing him during burglary investigation US
Man shoots down drone ‘harassing him during burglary investigation US

Man shoots down drone ‘harassing’ him during burglary investigation, US feds say

As deputies investigated a burglary at a Florida business, their drone was shot down by a man armed with a rifle at a neighbouring home, federal prosecutors said.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office drone was destroyed by the gunfire, which caused it to descend “out of control” and crash into the roof of a nearby building on July 11, 2021, in Mount Dora, according to court documents.

When deputies confronted Wendell Doyle Goney, 52, who is accused of shooting the drone from his property, Goney said the drone was “harassing” him, his plea agreement says.

The DJI Matrice M300 drone, worth nearly US$30,000 (RM142,065), was being used to search for potential burglary suspects before Goney blasted it out of the sky, according to the plea agreement.

During the confrontation with Goney, deputies learned he’s not allowed to legally own any firearm, including his .22 caliber rifle, because of his 29 prior felony convictions in Florida, prosecutors said.

Now, Goney, of Mount Dora, has pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

McClatchy News contacted federal public defenders representing Goney for comment on Oct 9 and didn’t receive an immediate response.

Goney’s prior felony convictions date back to 1995 and include burglary, grand theft, battery and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, according to his plea agreement, which says he’s served multiple state prison sentences.

After pleading guilty to the federal charge against him, Goney is facing up to 10 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Under federal law, convicted felons are also barred from possessing ammunition, in addition to firearms, according to the release.

Mount Dora is about 35 miles northwest of Orlando. – The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service

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