Edcouch man faces federal prison for laser pointer incident with helicopter


Months after he was arrested, a court has set a sentencing date for an Edcouch man accused of pointing a laser at a helicopter.

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez set a sentencing date of Feb. 11, 2021, for Luz Fernando Soliz in connection with one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft.

Solis formally pleaded guilty to the charge Thursday, records show.

In May, a DPS trooper was dispatched to an area in Edcouch near Mile 2 Road and Texas Highway 107 to locate a male subject who had allegedly pointed a laser at a DPS helicopter moments earlier.

The trooper eventually made contact with a man named Luz Fernando Soliz.

“Soliz stated he knowingly and intentionally pointed the laser toward the air in the direction of the (DPS helicopter),” the complaint against Soliz states. “According to DPS 108, the laser pointer was sufficient enough to impair the pilot’s ability to safely operate (the) aircraft.”

The trooper subsequently seized the laser pointer from Soliz, the complaint states.

Soliz was booked into the Hidalgo County jail at the time on one count of illumination of aircraft by intense light, a Class A misdemeanor, and subsequently released on a $2,000 cash surety bond, jail records show.

On July 14, a federal grand jury indicted Soliz on one count of “knowingly aim(ing) the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft,” the court record shows.

If convicted at the federal level, Soliz could face up to five years in prison.