Friday, November 08, 2013

TOP STORY >> Terrorism charge in power-grid case

A Jacksonville man accused of destroying parts of the power grid in Lonoke County last month was indicted on Wednesday by a federal grand jury on eight counts for the attacks.

Jason Woodring, 37, who is in federal custody, is charged with:

 One count of a terrorist attack against a railroad carrier. During his alleged dismantling of a high-voltage tower on Aug. 21, a power line fell on a nearby railroad track and was later hit by a train. The power line was severed and caused a brief power outage in Cabot. If convicted, Woodring faces up to life in prison and/or not more than five years of supervised release.

 Three counts of destruction of an energy facility. One is for the alleged attempt to destroy the high-voltage tower and the power lines it carried on Aug. 21. One is for a fire set Sept. 29 at an extra-high voltage switching station in Scott. One is for allegedly cutting down two power poles and pulling one down with a stolen tractor on Oct. 6, causing a power outage in Jacksonville. The charge of destruction of an energy facility carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

 One count of using fire to commit a felony for Woodring allegedly setting the extra-high voltage station on fire. If convicted, Woodring will have a statutory sentence of 10 years consecutive to the underlying felony.

 One count of maliciously damaging or destroying by fire the extra station building. The charge carries a sentence of five to 20 years in prison.

 One count of possession of an unregistered short-barreled shotgun with an obliterated serial number. If convicted on the count, Woodring will have to forfeit the shotgun.

 As an alleged methamphetamine user, he was charged with being an illegal drug user in possession of two rifles, three shotguns and multiple rounds of ammunition.

If convicted on the count, Woodring will have to forfeit the guns and ammunition. He could also face up to a $250,000 fine for each charge against him.

Attorney Michael Gordon is prosecuting this case for the government.