Parsippany man accused of aiming laser at airplane cockpit

(01/04/05) NEWARK ? A Parsippany man appeared before a federal judge in Newark Tuesday after being accused of shining a laser into a small passenger airplane.

Federal investigators say David Barchan pointed a laser device at a six-passenger charter aircraft on December 29. According to authorities, Barchan later used the laser device again on a Port Authority helicopter dispatched to investigate the charter plane incident. Police say they found a laser device used to look for holes in fiber-optic wires while they were searching Barchan?s residence.

Investigators say Barchan admitted he was responsible for the charter plane incident after a lie detector test. They are now charging him under the U.S. Patriot Act. Barchan?s attorney, however, says his client is not a terrorist and should not be subject to the Patriot Act.

Barchan is free on $100,000 bail. If convicted, he could face a maximum of 25 years in jail and a $500,000 fine. Barchan is currently not facing any charges stemming from the Port Authority helicopter incident.

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