Feds: Man arrested for flying drone over crowds in Super Bowl restricted area

(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/TNS)

Tampa, Florida – Kevin Jonathan Canty, 33, of West Palm Beach has been charged with violating national defense airspace.

According to the complaint, on February 6, 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a temporary flight restriction (TFR) covering an area extending outward from downtown Tampa. This TFR, along with others, was issued as part of a comprehensive security plan designed to protect and secure the events leading up to, and including, Super Bowl LV. That day, FBI agents saw a drone, flying near the USF Health CAMLS building—an area within the TFR.

FBI agents later located Canty, the operator of the drone, nearby in downtown Tampa. Canty stated that he is an FAA-licensed remote pilot drone operator and that he was aware that a TFR was in place for the Super Bowl. A review of his drone’s flight path showed that it had traveled through downtown Tampa, which was hosting public events related to the Super Bowl. Records show Canty had flown his drone over people and moving vehicles.

If convicted, Canty faces a maximum penalty of one year in federal prison.

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