A 48-year-old man from Santa Ana was sentenced to five years in federal prison on Monday after he briefly blinded an Orange County Sheriff’s Department helicopter crew by shining a laser pointer at them.

In November, Eric Jayson Suarez pleaded guilty to a count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Suarez spotted the helicopter on April 13, 2020, and “intentionally pointed a high-intensity green laser beam at the aircraft and struck the cockpit at least four times with his laser pointer’s beam,” the release said.

The chopper’s pilot and tactical flight officer were blinded “for several seconds, impacting their ability to see the ground and to detect hazards and jeopardizing the safety of the flight crew, the helicopter, other nearby aircraft, and people on the ground,” the DOJ added.

This isn’t Suarez’s first charge for shining a laser at an aircraft, as he was convicted in Orange County in February 2015.

He was also contacted in March 2020, just a month before this most recent incident, after a green laser beam shone from his backyard and struck a helicopter eight times, the release said.

“That night, an officer warned Suarez that it would be ‘disastrous’ because it could blind the pilot and cause the aircraft to crash, according to court documents,” according to the DOJ.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct the date of the laser-shining incident.