Pennsylvania man charged with flying drone over Baltimore stadium during AFC championship game

Feb 6, 2024, 2:11 PM

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has been charged with illegally flying a drone over Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium during the AFC championship game between the Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs last month, prompting security to temporarily suspend the game, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland announced Monday.

Matthew Hebert, 44, of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, was charged with three felony counts related to operating an unregistered drone, serving as an airman without a certificate and violating national defense airspace on Jan. 28.

Drones are barred from flying within 3 miles (5 kilometers) of stadiums that seat at least 30,000 people during events including NFL and MLB games, and in the hour before they start and after they end, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. In November, the administration said it would investigate a drone that briefly delayed a Ravens-Bengals game.

Maryland State troopers followed the unidentified and unapproved drone to a nearby neighborhood where it landed and found Hebert, who admitted to operating the drone, FBI Special Agent David Rodski wrote in an affidavit. Hebert told troopers and FBI agents that he bought the drone online in 2021 and used an app to operate it, but he didn’t have any training or a license to operate a drone.

Hebert, who was wearing a Ravens jersey was visiting the home of friends in Baltimore for the football game, said he didn’t know about restrictions around the stadium during the game, according to the affidavit. The app previously had prevented Hebert from operating the drone due to flight restrictions, so while he was surprised that he could operate it, he assumed he was allowed to fly it.

Hebert flew the drone about 100 meters (330 feet) or higher for about two minutes, capturing six photos of himself and the stadium and may have taken a video too, but he didn’t know that his flight had disrupted the game until he was approached by a trooper, according to the affidavit.

Reached by telephone on Tuesday, Hebert declined to comment.

If convicted, Hebert faces a maximum of three years in federal prison for knowingly operating an unregistered drone and for knowingly serving as an airman without an airman’s certificate. He faces a maximum of one year in federal prison for willfully violating United States national defense airspace. An initial appearance and arraignment are expected to be scheduled later this month.

United States News

Anti-Abortion activists rally outside the Supreme Court, Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Washington. ...

Associated Press

Supreme Court justices unconvinced state abortion bans conflict with federal health care law

Conservative Supreme Court justices are skeptical that state abortion bans enacted after the overturning of Roe v. Wade violate federal law.

3 hours ago

Lisa Pisano looks at photos of her dog after her surgeries at NYU Langone Health in New York on Mon...

Associated Press

New Jersey woman becomes second patient to receive kidney from gene-edited pig

A New Jersey woman who was near death received a transplanted pig kidney that stabilized her failing heart.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Instagram fraudster ‘Jay Mazini’ has been sentenced for his crypto scheme that preyed on Muslims

NEW YORK (AP) — The former Instagram influencer known as “ swindled millions of dollars from online followers and a network of Muslims during the pandemic was sentenced to seven years in prison on Wednesday, prosecutors said. Jebara Igbara, 28, of New Jersey, had pleaded guilty to fraud charges, admitting that he created a Ponzi […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Connecticut Senate passes wide-ranging bill to regulate AI. But its fate remains uncertain

HARTFORD (AP) — The Connecticut Senate pressed ahead Wednesday with one of the first major legislative proposals in the U.S. to reign in bias in artificial intelligence decision-making and protect people from harm, including manufactured videos or deepfakes. The vote was held despite concerns the bill might stifle innovation, become a burden for small businesses […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge orders anonymous jury for trial of self-exiled Chinese businessman, citing his past acts

NEW YORK (AP) — A self-exiled Chinese businessman is set to face an anonymous jury at his trial next month on fraud charges after a judge on Wednesday cited his past willingness to tamper with judicial proceedings as reason for concern. Guo Wengui goes to trial May 22 in Manhattan federal court, where jurors will […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

New California rule aims to limit health care cost increases to 3% annually

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies in California will be limited to annual price increases of 3% starting in 2029 under a new rule state regulators approved Wednesday in the latest attempt to corral the ever-increasing costs of medical care in the United States. The money Californians spent on health care […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Pennsylvania man charged with flying drone over Baltimore stadium during AFC championship game