WICHITA FALLS, Texas — A northwest Texas rancher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for firing multiple times at a crop-dusting airplane flying over his property.
Prosecutors say 41-year-old Stephen Paul Riley of Olney was sentenced Friday in federal court. He pleaded guilty in January to one count of destruction of an aircraft.
According to court records, a crop-dusting pilot flew over property adjacent to Riley's Flying Lead Ranch around midday on Feb. 22, 2008. Riley fired multiple times on the aircraft, striking and nearly severing the rudder cable and striking a wing strut.
Court records show Riley had previously threatened the owner of the company that leased the plane, saying that he would shoot down any plane flying over the ranch.
Olney is about 120 miles northwest of Dallas.