Big fine for crashing drone in Yellowstone spring

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — A judge has ordered a Dutch man to pay more than $3,000 for crashing a drone into the biggest hot spring in Yellowstone National Park.

The drone flown by Theodorus Van Vliet of the Netherlands crashed into the Grand Prismatic spring in August. Park officials have yet to be able to recover the drone from the spring.

Van Vliet pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to illegally operating an unmanned aircraft system in Yellowstone. A judge ordered him to pay $3,245 in fines and restitution.

Last week, a 37-year-old German man pleaded guilty for flying a drone that crashed into Yellowstone Lake. He was ordered to pay $1,600 in fines and restitution.

Park officials say a third drone case involving an Oregon man is still pending.

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