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Date: 10-29-2020

Case Style:

United States of America v. Brain John Loven

Case Number: 4:20-cr-00033-BMM

Judge: Brian M. Morris

Court: United States District Court for the District of Montana (Cascade County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States District Attorney’s Office, Great Falls, Montana

Defendant's Attorney: Great Falls, Montana Criminal Defense Lawyer Directory


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Description: Great Falls, Montana pointing laser at aircraft criminal defense lawyer presented Brian John Loven, age 42.

The United States of American charged Brian John Loven with aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft.

The prosecution said in court documents that at about 9:40 p.m. on March 3, two pilots operating a SkyWest flight reported that on their descent to the Great Falls airport, the plane was hit with a bright green laser that lit up the cockpit. The pilots reported that the incident occurred on the east end of town in the area of Giant Springs State Park.

Cascade County Sheriff’s deputies dispatched to the area located a Jeep driving slowly through the parking lot of Heritage Park, which was closed at the time. Loven was a passenger. The driver told deputies that she was learning how to drive a manual transmission car. While speaking with the driver, deputies noticed a small, black pen-like device sticking out of the center cup holder and asked about the item. The driver retrieved the device, said it was a laser pointer and activated it. The laser pointer projected a green light onto the dashboard.

Deputies interviewed Loven, who admitted to shining the laser at an airplane while it was approaching the airport. Loven explained that he was unaware it was a federal offense to shine a laser at a plane and just wanted to “test out the distance of the laser.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Starnes is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Transportation Security Administration, Cascade County Sheriff’s Office and Airport Security.


Outcome: 10/28/2020 28 MINUTE ENTRY for CHANGE OF PLEA HEARING for defendant BRIAN JOHN LOVEN held 10/28/2020 before Judge Brian Morris: AUSA Jeffrey Starnes, FD Anthony Gallagher, defendant (not in custody), present. No Plea Agreement. Defendant S/T. Defendant answers questions from the Court. Indictment received and Defendant understands charges. Defendant satisfied with Counsel. Maximum penalties, constitutional rights and right to a jury trial stated. Sentencing process explained. AUSA states elements of offense and offer of proof; no objections. Allocution. Court grants motion to change plea. Defendant pleads GUILTY to the count contained in the Indictment. Court finds Defendant competent, plea knowing and voluntarily made. Court accepts plea. PSR ordered. Sentencing set for February 25, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. Government does not move for detention. Court will allow defendant to remain on release. Hearing commenced at 1:40 p.m. and concluded at 2:08 p.m. (Court Reporter Yvette Heinze) (USPO: P. Jones) (Law Clerk: S. Carmack), (Hearing held in Great Falls) (MMS) (Entered: 10/28/2020)
10/28/2020 29 Order as to Brian John Loven: Sentencing is set for 2/25/2021 at 01:30 PM in Great Falls, MT before Judge Brian Morris. Signed by Judge Brian Morris on 10/28/2020. (MMS) (Entered: 10/28/2020)

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