Photographer charged after flying over feedlot

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 11, 2013 at 8:13 pm •  Published: July 11, 2013

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — A National Geographic freelance photographer who took pictures of a western Kansas feedlot from a paraglider was charged Thursday with criminal trespassing.

Photographer George Steinmetz, of Glenn Ridge, N.J., and paragliding instructor Wei Zhang, of Beijing, China, were arrested June 28 and briefly detained in the Finney County jail before paying $270 bond. Both were charged with criminal trespassing.

Finney County Attorney Susan Richmeier said she didn't know whether the men have attorneys.

Steinmetz is a frequent contributor to National Geographic, and many of his pictures of the world's deserts were taken while piloting a motorized paraglider. He was working on a series about food that will be published sometime in early 2014.

Finney County Sheriff Kevin Bascue told The Hutchinson News that Steinmetz and Zhang didn't get permission to launch their paraglider from private property and didn't tell anyone they were going to take photos over a feedlot that's filled with thousands of cattle.