Friday, June 19, 2015

TOP STORY >> Electric saboteur gets prison term

The man who pleaded guilty to destroying power lines around Jacksonville, Cabot and Scott in 2013 was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Thursday, according to U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Thyer.

Jason Woodring, 38, of Jacksonville will also be required to pay $4,792,224 in restitution to Entergy for his destruction of power lines and an electrical tower near Cabot and a switching station in Scott.

He will also have to pay $48,729 to First Electric Cooperative for damage to the downed power lines and poles in Jacksonville.

He will not be paroled, as he was sentenced for a federal crime. After being let out of prison, he’ll be under supervised release for five years.

U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson accepted Woodring’s plea agreement.

“Woodring’s 2013 attacks included sabotaging an electrical support tower and downing a 500,000-volt power line onto a railroad track near Cabot, which resulted in approximately $550,000 worth of damage; setting fire to and destroying an extra high-voltage switching station in Scott, causing over $4,000,000 in damages, and cutting down two power poles, which led to the temporary loss of power to approximately 9,000 people in Jacksonville,” Thyer said.

Woodring was charged in an eight-count indictment by a federal grand jury on Nov. 6, 2013. He pleaded guilty to the sabotage in March and to being a methamphetamine user who was in possession of firearms and ammunition, which he surrendered.

He will appear in Pulaski and Lonoke County Circuit Courts next week on criminal mischief, drug and gun charges.

Tori Moss, spokeswoman for First Electric Cooperative, said her company “thanks the FBI as well as the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies involved in this case.”