Drone pilot suspected of dropping flyers featuring swastikas over Sac State deemed fit to face trial

Tracy Mapes' trial date is set for April 7

Flyers were dropped on both sides of the Guy West Bridge via aerial drone during Sac State's annual Farm to Fork festival. The flyers featured anti-media propaganda, with one reading 'Stop the press!!!' and another featuring a black swastika on a red background.

Dominic Vitiello - The State Hornet

Flyers were dropped on both sides of the Guy West Bridge via aerial drone during Sac State's annual Farm to Fork festival. The flyers featured anti-media propaganda, with one reading 'Stop the press!!!' and another featuring a black swastika on a red background.

Ashton Byers

The drone pilot suspected of dumping swastika-marked leaflets over Sacramento State and the Golden 1 Center last year was ruled competent to stand trial during a hearing at the Sacramento Superior Court Tuesday.

Kim Pederson, a public information officer for the Sacramento Superior Court, said Tracy Mapes, 52, was set for trial in January but due to a medical evaluation request, it was postponed to determine whether he was fit to stand trial.

Mapes faces misdemeanor charges connected to the drone flight said.

RELATED: Drone drops flyers with swastikas over Sacramento State bridge dinner

After reviewing the finalized medical report, the court ordered that the defendant was fit to face trial, set for April 7, Pedersen said.

Pederson said Mapes can either enter a plea or the case will be set for trial. 

According to a Sacramento Police Department public information officer Karl Chan, once an arrest is made, it goes to the district attorney for finalization until further notice.

A drone dropped flyers featuring swastikas and anti-media sentiments over Sac State’s annual “Bites on the Bridge” Farm-to-Fork dinner held on the Guy West Bridge last May.

Not all of the flyers had the same design – one flyer featured several anti-media statements placed over a red X and phrases like “stop the TV whore takeover” and “the press is the enemy,” while another flyer featured a swastika.

Sac State President Robert Nelsen, who was at the event when the flyers dropped, said he was appalled by the messaging on the flyers and that the university hopes to “stop whoever did this.”

Mapes was a staff member on the Current, American River College’s student news organization, during the Spring 2016 semester. 

Mapes began working on a manifesto he called the “Red ‘X’ Society” sometime before his time on staff. The Current reported in 2017, that Mapes left after butting heads with other staff members.