Man Pleads Guilty to Lasering Helicopter, Cocaine Possession

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- A Newport Beach man pleaded guilty Friday to felony charges stemming from pointing a laser at a police helicopter on aerial patrol.

Peter G. Kontos, 35, pleaded guilty to four counts of discharging a laser at an occupied aircraft, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and possessing a weapon, according to an Orange County Superior Court Web site.

Neither Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche nor defense attorney John Barnett could be reached for comment.

According to documents, Kontos was advised that he could withdraw his plea if a judge rejects a plea bargain sentence of two years in prison.

Sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 20.

Kontos pointed the beam of light at the helicopter three times on April 1 from the patio of his unit at the Villa Point Condominium Complex in the 300 block of Villa Point, Newport Beach police Sgt. Bill Hartford said earlier.

The helicopter's pilot told police that a "blinding green laser light" struck the cockpit three times, interfering with the safe operation of his aircraft.

The other flight crewmember used binoculars to see where the beam came from and directed police patrol units to Kontos' condominium, Hartford said.

Police served a search warrant at his condominium that resulted in his arrest. Authorities seized more than $100,000 in cash, several grams of cocaine and a laser pointer, Hartford said.

Kontos has been free on bond.

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