Charges dropped, but wildfire drone investigation continues

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Gene Alan Carpenter (Source: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office) Gene Alan Carpenter (Source: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)

Yavapai County officials say charges against the man arrested for operating his drone in restricted airspace over the Goodwin Fire have been dismissed while authorities investigate new evidence.

Deputy Yavapai County Attorney Dennis McGrane said he could not comment on what new evidence has been found, but 54-year-old Gene Carpenter could be brought back into court for the incident since the charges were dismissed without prejudice.

[RELATED: Man arrested for flying drone over the Goodwin Fire]

The Daily Courier reported Friday that Carpenter is accused of hampering firefighting efforts and recklessly endangering aircraft and fire crews in the air and on the ground by flying the unmanned drone.

[RELATED: Forest officials: Drone flight hindered firefighting efforts]

County sheriff's deputies tracked down Carpenter on June 30 after spotting a man flying the drone within hours of the fire being reported in the Prescott National Forest.

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