February 10, 2021 By The Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. — A South Florida man faces up to a year in federal prison for flying a drone near the location of the Super Bowl the day before the big game, officials said.
Kevin Jonathan Canty, 33, of West Palm Beach, was charged Monday with violating national defence airspace, according to a criminal complaint.
As part of the security plan for Super Bowl LV, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction Wednesday covering an area around Tampa. That’s where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the championship game Sunday night.
According to the complaint, FBI agents saw a drone flying Saturday in downtown Tampa, several miles from the stadium, and then located Canty, the drone’s operator. Canty told agents that he is an FAA-licensed drone pilot and he was aware of the temporary flight restriction, prosecutors said.
A review of the drone’s flight path showed it had travelled near public events related to the Super Bowl.
Canty is the second man charged with flying a drone in restricted Tampa airspace last week. Henry Alejandro Jimenez, 33, of Orlando, was arrested last Wednesday on the same charge. No connection was reported between the two drone operators.
Online court records didn’t list an attorney for Canty who could comment.