You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Two Women Charged with Offenses Related to Pipeline Attacks

DES MOINES, Iowa – On September 19, 2019, a federal grand jury returned an Indictment charging defendants, Jessica Rae Reznicek and Ruby Katherine Montoya, with one count of conspiracy to damage an energy facility, four counts of use of fire in the commission of a felony, and four counts of malicious use of fire, announced United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum. Montoya was recently arrested in the District of Arizona and detained pending court proceedings to determine her appearance in the Southern District of Iowa. Reznicek appeared in Des Moines on October 1, 2019 and was conditionally released pending trial. Trial is currently scheduled for December 2, 2019, before United States District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger.

According to Count 1 of the Indictment, from at least as early as 2016 and continuing in 2017, in the Southern District of Iowa and elsewhere, Reznicek and Montoya conspired to knowingly and willfully damage and attempt to damage the property of an energy facility involved in the transmission and distribution of fuel, or another form or source of energy, in an amount exceeding or which would have exceeded $100,000, and to cause a significant interruption and impairment of a function of an energy facility.

Counts 2 through 9 of the Indictment allege specific instances of damage or attempts to damage portions of the Dakota Access Pipeline in the Southern District of Iowa by Reznicek and Montoya on various dates in 2017.

The public is reminded that an Indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless they are proven guilty.

If they are convicted of Count 1, conspiracy to damage an energy facility, Reznicek and Montoya face up to 20 years imprisonment, not more than a $250,000 fine, or both such fine and imprisonment.

If they are convicted of Counts 2, 4, 6 and/or 8, use of fire in the commission of a felony, Reznicek and Montoya face a mandatory minimum 10 years imprisonment to be served consecutive to the sentence imposed on Count 1. For each second or subsequent conviction of Counts 2, 4, 6 and/or 8, Reznicek and Montoya face a mandatory minimum 20 years imprisonment to be served consecutive to the sentence imposed on Count 1.

If they are convicted of Counts 3, 5, 7 and/or 9, malicious use of fire, Reznicek and Montoya face a mandatory minimum 5 years imprisonment and a maximum of 20 years imprisonment, not more than a $250,000 fine, or both such fine and
imprisonment.

The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Contact: 
Rachel J. Scherle 515-473-9300 USAIAS-PAO@usdoj.gov
Updated October 2, 2019