Arizona man charged with 14 felonies for allegedly flying drone near wildfire

An Arizona man has been arrested and charged with more than a dozen felonies after he allegedly flew his drone too close to aircraft battling a fire, briefly preventing officials from containing the blaze.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office arrested Gene Alan Carpenter, 54, and charged him with 14 counts of felony endangerment and one misdemeanor count of unlawful operation of an unmanned aircraft, according to the Associated Press.

A witness reportedly saw Carpenter flying the drone near a white van late last month, and authorities later tracked him down after he posted the photos he took from the drone to his website.

Authorities said Carpenter flew his drone in a “close airspace above an active fire area,” and risked the lives of the pilots and other fire crews who are trying to fight a blaze in the Prescott National Forest that has burnt 40 square miles. The AP reports more than

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