News and Press Releases

Pittsburgh Man Admits Cutting Fiber Optic Cable Line

May 31, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of interference with a communication line used for military or civilian defense functions of the United States, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Edward C. Szoszorek, 51, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge Gustave Diamond.

In connection with the guilty plea, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Hull advised the court that on or about April 29, 2009, Szoszorek willfully destroyed, and interfered with communications over, a fiber optic cable line located near the intersection of 33rd and Smallman Streets in Pittsburgh.  The line, owned and operated by MCI Communications Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, Inc., was used for military and civil defense functions of the United States.

Judge Diamond scheduled sentencing for Oct. 7, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.  The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $2,000,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Szoszorek on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney James T. Kitchen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Szoszorek.

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