Florida man indicted for shooting down sheriff’s office drone

OCALA, Fla. — A Florida man was indicted Wednesday on charges that he shot down a law enforcement drone three months ago.

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According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, Wendell Doyle Goney, 51, of Mount Dora, was charged with possession of a firearm as a convicted felon and destruction of aircraft. If convicted of both charges, Goney faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, according to the release.

Goney is accused of shooting down a Lake County Sheriff’s Office drone with a rifle on July 11 in Mount Dora. Deputies were using a drone to investigate a burglary, according to the release.

As deputies cleared a building on the 10-acre property, they used a drone to clear the rest of the property, WFTV reported. Investigators said the drone was shot out of the air from a neighboring property with what authorities later determined was a .22 caliber rifle.

Deputies responding to that location confronted Goney, who admitted he had shot down the drone, according to the indictment. Goney told deputies he believed the drones had been “harassing” him, and also admitted that because he has 29 prior felony convictions in Florida, he could not lawfully possess a weapon, the news release stated.