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Monday, May 05 2014 12:22 PM

Investigation into laser discharge toward aircraft results in drug arrest

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A photo provided by the Tehachapi Police Department shows a weapon, cash and suspected drugs confiscated during an arrest at a home near Tompkins Elementary School early Monday morning. Photo courtesy of Tehachapi Police Department

Two Tehachapi men were arrested early Monday morning and charged with discharging a laser at an occupied airplane. One of the men was additionally charged with Possession of Controlled Substance for Sales, and Maintaining a Drug House.

According to Tehachapi Police Chief Jeff Kermode, the arrests followed an investigation and a search warrant served on a residence in the 1400 block of Cimarron Court in a neighborhood within the city limits south of Tompkins Elementary School.

Kermode said that the incident with the laser took place on Sunday evening, May 4.

At 9:18 p.m., police responded to a report that a local pilot had just been targeted by a green laser while landing. The pilot had been temporarily disoriented by the laser, but was able to land safely.

The chief said a TPD officer accompanied the pilot back into the air in an attempt to locate the source of the laser. While flying over the City of Tehachapi the plane was again targeted by the laser. TPD officers were able to identify a residence in the 1400 block of Cimarron Court as the source of the laser pointing. The plane then landed safely at Tehachapi Airport for the second time.

Officers were able to obtain a search warrant for the residence in question and at about 3:20 a.m. on Monday, May 5, they served that search warrant. As a result of the warrant, the laser device was recovered along with approximately a half pound of methamphetamine with a street value of $20,700, $1,400 in cash, scales and other drug sale related paraphernalia, and an 8 mm Mauser rifle and ammunition, Kermode said.

Two men, Daniel Roy Mahler and Mario Guillermo Manero, both Tehachapi residents, were arrested and booked into Kern County Jail.

Mahler, 47, was charged with Discharging a Laser at an Occupied Aircraft, Possession of Controlled Substance for Sales, and Maintaining a Drug House.

Manero, 52, was charged with Discharging a Laser at an Occupied Aircraft.

Both were booked into the Kern County Jail.

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