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Grand jury indicts 2 Cincinnati-area males of federal expenses associated to illegally flying drones over skilled sporting occasions

CINCINNATI – Two Cincinnati-area males have been charged with federal crimes alleging they illegally flew drones over skilled sporting occasions in Cincinnati.

A federal grand jury has charged the lads in separate incidents involving Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds occasions.


The Cincinnati Bengals hosted an NFL playoff sport at Paul Brown Stadium on Jan. 15. Throughout the sport, it’s alleged that Dailon Dabney, 24, of Cincinnati, illegally flew his drone into the stadium and hovered over the gamers and parts of the stadium crowd. Dabney allegedly recorded his drone flight and posted the video to social media websites and YouTube.


April 12 was Opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds’ 2022 season and featured the primary sport of the season at Nice American Ballpark. It’s alleged that Travis Lenhoff, 38, of Northern Kentucky, flew a drone into the restricted flight space of Nice American Ballpark through the Opening Day festivities.

“It is a rising drawback that poses a direct danger to the gamers and the people within the stands,” stated U.S. Lawyer Kenneth L. Parker. “Even when the operator doesn’t have an intent to hurt, the operator might simply lose management and injure somebody. Furthermore, the sight of a drone flying overhead might result in a panic within the crowd. When you attend these occasions like Reds video games and Bengals video games – go away the drones at residence.”

“Flying a drone over a stadium stuffed with followers is harmful and unlawful with out the correct FAA coaching, licensing, and permitted flight plan,” acknowledged FBI Cincinnati Particular Agent in Cost J. William Rivers. “We’ll proceed to work with the FAA and native police to research these incidents when correct FAA protocols and procedures will not be adopted.”

Any drone that weighs greater than .55 kilos and fewer than 55 kilos have to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Dabney’s and Lenhoff’s drones will not be registered with the FAA and they don’t have a distant pilot certification.

Every defendant is charged with working an unregistered drone, which is a federal crime punishable by as much as three years in jail. Dabney can also be charged with violating a short lived flight restriction (punishable by as much as one yr in jail).

Dabney and Lenhoff every have an preliminary look scheduled at 1:30pm on Oct. 12 in Cincinnati.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Lawyer for the Southern District of Ohio; J. William Rivers, Particular Agent in Cost, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); Cincinnati Interim Police Chief Teresa A. Theetge and Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey introduced the fees. Assistant United States Lawyer Timothy S. Mangan is representing the US on this case.

Indictments merely comprise allegations, and defendants are presumed harmless except confirmed responsible in a court docket of regulation.



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