Iowa woman sentenced to 8 years for vandalizing pipeline


Ruby Montoya and Jessica Reznicek being arrested by Iowa State Patrol for allegedly defacing Iowa Utilities Board sign. (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A woman was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for damaging valves and setting fire to construction equipment along an oil pipeline that crosses Iowa and three other states.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jessica Rae Reznicek also was ordered to pay nearly $3.2 million in restitution and serve three years of supervised release after her prison term for conspiracy to damage an energy facility ends, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release.

Her co-defendant, Ruby Montoya, is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date, the release said.

Prosecutors said the Des Moines women caused the damage at different times from 2016 into 2017. In one instance in August 2016, machinery was found extensively damaged by fire at three oil pipeline construction sites in central Iowa near Newton, Reasnor and Oskaloosa.ADVERTISEMENT

Before their arrest, they released a statement claiming they burned construction machinery, cut through pipe valves with a torch and set fires with gasoline, rags and tires along the Dakota Access pipeline route. The $3.8 billion pipeline crosses North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.

“As this investigation and punishment show, any crime of terrorism will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted by the federal government.,” said acting U.S. Attorney Westphal in a written statement.

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