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Queens DA Looks To Crack Down On Drones Near Airports

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- After three drone sightings by pilots at Kennedy Airport last weekend, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown is warning users that under state law they could face up to seven years in prison.

"It's about time that all of us took this a lot more seriously, and there's no question that people on the ground and the flying public is being jeopardized," Brown told WCBS 880's Marla Diamond.

The Federal Aviation Administration can fine violators $1,000 to $25,000. Brown said he is taking a more aggressive approach to finding and prosecuting people who fly drones near local airports.

Queens DA Getting Tough On Drone Operators Near Airports

"They're going to be prosecuted for reckless endangerment, which is a felony ... ," Brown said. "So I would strongly urge that those who choose to fly drones use common sense."

On Sunday, a drone came within 25 feet of a Shuttle America flight as it was about to touch down at JFK, causing a potentially catastrophic threat.

On Friday afternoon, the FAA said Delta and JetBlue pilots each reported sighting a drone.

Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the pilot who landed a US Airways in the Hudson River in 2009, said drones are far more heavy and dangerous than the birds that brought down his plane.

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