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Press Release

Woodring Sentenced To 15 Years For Attacks On Central Arkansas Power Grid

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK – Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, David T. Resch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Grover Crossland, Resident Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)—Little Rock Field Office announced today that Jason Woodring, 38, of Jacksonville, Arkansas, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on charges related to his attacks on central Arkansas’ power grid between August and October 2013.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, Woodring will be required to pay $4,792,224.06 in restitution to Entergy for Woodring’s attacks on the power lines and electrical tower near Cabot, Ark., and a switching station in Scott, Ark. Woodring will also have to pay $48,729.39 to First Electric Cooperative for damage to the downed power lines and poles in Jacksonville, Ark. There is no parole in the federal system. Upon his release from prison he must serve five years of supervised release.

Woodring’s 2013 attacks included sabotaging an electrical support tower and downing a 500,000-volt power line onto a railroad track near Cabot, Ark., which resulted in approximately $550,000 worth of damage; setting fire to and destroying an Extra High Voltage (EHV) switching station in Scott, Ark., 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, Ark. Woodring was charged in an eight-count indictment by a federal grand jury on November 6, 2013.

On March 10, 2015, Woodring pleaded guilty to counts 2, 3, 4, and 8 of the indictment, including destruction of an energy facility for downing the Cabot power lines (Count Two) and for setting fire to the Scott power station (Count Three). He also 425 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 500 (501) 340-2600 Post Office Box 1229 Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-1229 pleaded guilty to using fire to commit a felony (Count Four) in relation to the arson in Scott. Finally, Woodring pleaded guilty to being an illegal drug user in possession of various firearms and ammunition (Count Eight) and agreed to forfeit the firearms and ammunition.

On Thursday, United States District Judge Billy Roy Wilson accepted the parties’ plea agreement and imposed the recommended 15-year sentence. Upon acceptance of the plea and sentence, the United States dismissed counts 1, 5, 6, and 7 of the indictment against Woodring.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force, ATF, Union Pacific Police, Entergy, First Electric, Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office, Cabot Police, Arkansas State Police, Conway Police Department, Little Rock Police Department and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Updated July 14, 2015