A federal court jury on Thursday convicted a Lynden, Wash., man of one count of interfering with the operation of a Border Patrol helicopter. The jury found Wayne P. Groen not guilty of a second charge.
Groen had admitted to shining a spotlight on a low-flying Customs and Border Patrol helicopter on the night of Sept. 22 to see what the helicopter was doing and to alert the pilot it was close to his home.
Federal prosecutors say the two Blackhawk pilots were wearing night-vision goggles to help track illegal border-crossers and the spotlight temporarily blinded them, putting them at risk of crashing.
Groen is scheduled for sentencing by U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly on Aug. 4.