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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Flier of Phony Police Helo Pleads Guilty

A suburban Chicago civilian who caught the attention of law enforcement by flying a helicopter marked with police logos pleaded guilty July 26 to hiding a felony background when he applied for a pilot certificate, according to The Chicago Sun-Times. The newspaper said Randy Sanders, 44, featured in its January series "Criminals Posing as Police," pleaded guilty in federal court to piloting a helicopter from Kenosha, Wis., to Schaumburg, Ill. for routine maintenance even though he did not have a valid airman's certificate because his application was deferred for medical evaluation. Sanders also admitted to making a false application to the FAA for an airman medical and student pilot certificate in 2004, by failing to disclose several drug and weapon convictions, according to the paper. Last year, an Illinois State Police investigator noticed a Schweizer 269 at Schaumburg Airport with markings that included "Homeland Security, Valor from Above," "Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition," "Police," "Air-One" and "Night Sharks." The helicopter did not have an official connection to Homeland Security. More

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