Water protectors in North Dakota celebrate a big victory after Prolific The Rapper was found not guilty on three charges involving his drone
Aaron Sean Turgeon ‘Prolific The Rapper’ was arrested for allegedly flying his drone in close proximity of a Highway Patrol aircraft
Turgeon was possibly facing up to 7-years in prison if found guilty
Turgeon announced the not guilty decision on his Facebook page on Thursday
For once there is actually good news coming out of North Dakota involving the stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline. On Thursday, Aaron Sean Turgeon, better known as ‘Prolific The Rapper,’ was found not guilty of charges he faced from his work as a drone pilot in Standing Rock.
Turgeon faced three criminal charges for the use of his drone in Morton County, North Dakota. Turgeon was charged with reckless endangerment, a Class C felony, for allegedly of flying a drone near a Highway Patrol aircraft on Sept. 6. If found guilty, Turgeon could have spent up to seven years in prison.
On Thursday, Turgeon posted a live update on his Facebook page announcing his legal victory.
First Drone-Related Arrests
At about the same time of Turgeon’s arrest, Myron C. Dewey was also arrested for the use of his drone in the same area. Dewey was charged with stalking, a Class A misdemeanor, for flying his drone over vehicles used by hired security officers for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The security officers told law enforcement they believed that Dewey was trying to get video of security officers and their license plates. Officials in the area said the two arrests were the first drone-related arrests the county knew of.
These are just two examples of some of the problems drone pilots faced in Morton County. Multiple drones were shot down by law enforcement, some were hijacked, and the FAA declared the area to be a no-fly zone.
The Three Charges
Law enforcement claimed Turgeon flew his drone over 400 feet and was in proximity of a Highway Patrol aircraft.
Turgeon was also charged with misdemeanor reckless endangerment for flying his drone over a crowd of 150 to 200 people. Court documents showed that law enforcement claimed that this action put the people and law enforcement at risk of injury or possible death.
Turgeon also faced a misdemeanor physical obstruction of a government function charge after he did not allow law enforcement to seize the drone.