Florida Man Indicted After Shooting Down Sheriff’s Drone

A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging a Florida man with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and destruction of aircraft.

If convicted of both counts, Wendell Doyle Goney, 51, faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison.

The indictment also notifies Goney that the United States intends to forfeit a rifle and ammunition allegedly used in the commission of the offenses. 

According to court documents, on July 11, 2021, deputies from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to a burglary at a 10-acre business property in Mount Dora.

Deputies deployed a law enforcement drone to assist with the outdoor search, only to have the drone destroyed by gunfire from a neighboring property.

When deputies responded to that location, they confronted Goney, who acknowledged that he had just shot down the drone with a .22 caliber rifle. He claimed that drones had been “harassing” him.

Goney also admitted to the deputies that he could not lawfully possess a firearm—he has 29 prior felony convictions in Florida. As a convicted felon, Goney is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition under federal law.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Department of Transportation-Office of Inspector General, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.

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