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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Man Admits to Dismantling and Stealing Oil Field Equipment

A Wynona man pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court for dismantling and stealing oil pumping rig equipment from pumpjacks in Osage County, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

Lee Charles Smith, 32, pleaded guilty to Destruction of an Energy Facility. In his plea agreement, Smith admitted to dismantling and stealing the oil pumping rig equipment from Sept. 14 through Sept. 17, 2018.

"The oil and gas industry is the life blood of the Oklahoma economy. Lee Charles Smith dismantled pumpjack rig motors in Osage County to sell for parts. His thievery was an attack on the livelihood of all Oklahomans,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “I’m proud of the investigative team for bringing Smith to justice. He caused in excess of $30,000 in damages and disrupted valuable production time. This United States Attorney’s Office will work with our law enforcement partners to prosecute the destruction and theft of pumping equipment.”

U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell accepted Smith’s plea and set sentencing for Jan. 16, 2020.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and FBI conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Proctor is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Contact: 
Public Affairs 918-382-2755
Updated October 16, 2019