A federal grand jury has charged two Utah pilots with giving false information to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The felony charges are "part of a nationwide crackdown," U.S. Attorney Brent D. Ward said Thursday. "We're one of the first two districts to file charges."Steven H. Wright, Park City, and Kent H. Dixon, 1628 S. West Temple, are named in the indictments. They are private, not commercial, pilots, he said.
If convicted, they face a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The indictments say the forms ask whether the applicants for licenses or license renewals have been convicted of traffic offenses or other charges and that the defendants gave false replies by saying they had not.
About eight or 10 similar indictments are pending in Utah. Ward believes none are commercial pilots.
The FAA estimates that nationally, 8,000 pilots have falsified the airman medical examination reports, called Form 8500-8.
"The nationwide investigation has focused on pilots who failed to document alcohol or drug convictions on their records," he added. The question is related to air traffic safety.
The grand jury also handed up a six-count indictment against Daniel Lawrence O'Boyle, address not listed.
He is charged with five counts of distributing heroin in Salt Lake City between July 22 and Oct. 12, in places including three motels.
The two remaining charges are that on Oct. 12 O'Boyle was a previously-convicted felon in possession of firearms - a 9-mm. semi-automatic assault rifle and a .22 semi-automatic stainless steel pistol.