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Press Release

Attempted Pipeline Bomber Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

AUSTIN, Texas – A Fort Worth man was sentenced in federal court in Austin today to 60 months in prison for attempting to damage or destroy a portion of the Permian Highway Pipeline in Hays County.

According to court documents, Ryan Blake McKinney, 22, attempted to detonate a device near a section of the Permian Highway Pipeline on Jan. 26, 2022.  He had conducted extensive planning for the attack and deliberately chose the Permian Highway Pipeline as part of his ideological fight against capitalism and climate change.  McKinney intended to weaken Texas energy independence and ensure significant economic consequences.  He turned himself in after his device failed to damage the pipeline due to a design flaw.

“Despite this defendant’s failed attempt to cause destruction, his intent, as shown in his thorough planning, posed an irresponsible and very dangerous risk,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas.  “Our prosecution and the sentencing in this case make it clear that attacks on our nation’s critical infrastructure are unacceptable and will be met with the full force of the law.”

“This sentencing demonstrates the FBI's and our Joint Terrorism Task Force partners' commitment to protecting our communities from violent extremists who seek to advance their ideology through acts of terrorism,” said Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich Jr. of the FBI San Antonio Division. “We would like to thank the Austin Police Department and the Hays County Sheriff's Office for their assistance on this case.”

The FBI investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys G. Karthik Srinivasan and Michael C. Galdo prosecuted the case.


Updated February 2, 2023

Domestic Terrorism