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Press Release

Des Moines Woman Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Conspiracy to Damage the Dakota Access Pipeline

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa

DES MOINES, IA – A Des Moines woman was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger to eight years in federal prison for Conspiracy to Damage an Energy Facility. Jessica Rae Reznicek, age 39, was ordered to serve three years of supervised release to follow her prison term and pay $3,198,512.70 in restitution.

Acting United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa and FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel made the announcement.

According to court documents, Reznicek, as early as November 8, 2016, and continuing until May 2, 2017, conspired with other individuals to damage the Dakota Access Pipeline at several locations within the Southern District of Iowa, Northern District of Iowa, and the District of South Dakota. Specifically, the defendant admitted to damaging and attempting to damage the pipeline using an oxy-acetylene cutting torch and fires near pipeline instrumentation and equipment in Mahaska, Boone, and Wapello Counties within the Southern District of Iowa.

Acting U.S. Attorney Westphal stated, “This was a federal crime of terrorism. Criminal acts conducted on multiple instances, at multiple locations, over a sustained period of time, resulting in over $3 million dollars in ordered restitution. After which Reznicek sought to encourage others to engage in similar conduct. As this investigation and punishment show, any crime of terrorism will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted by the federal government.”

Following the sentencing, FBI Special Agent in Charge Kowel commented, “Protecting the American people from terrorism – both international and domestic – remains the FBI’s number one priority. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring domestic terrorists like Jessica Reznicek to justice. Her sentence today should be a deterrent to anyone who intends to commit violence through an act of domestic terrorism.”

Reznicek’s co-defendant, Ruby Montoya, is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date. This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.


Rachel J. Scherle

Updated June 30, 2021

National Security