FBI joins probe into southern Illinois power system vandalism

Jul 31
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined the investigation to identify the vandals who cut down power poles and attacked a power substation owned by Southern Illinois Power Cooperative in early July.

“We are pleased to announce that the FBI is now leading the investigation into the vandalism and is committed to bringing the responsible parties to justice,” said Scott Ramsey, President and General Manager of Southern Illinois Power Cooperative.

“Southern Illinois Power Co-op went to extraordinary lengths by hiring our own private investigation agency – Tactical Investigations, LLC – to learn what happened to our equipment. The FBI will be conducting a separate investigation into the matter.  We are optimistic that justice will be served and we look forward to the arrest of the persons responsible,” added Ramsey.

John Brewster, SIPC’s attorney, said the vandalism violated U.S. code 18, part 1, chapter 65, section 1366, which addresses destruction of an energy facility.

Brewster said the statute calls for violators who knowingly and willfully damage or attempt to damage the property of an energy facility can be sentenced to five years imprisonment if the damage exceeds $5,000 and 20 years if the damage exceeds $100,000.

“We believe this is a public safety issue – seniors and those with health issues simply cannot afford power outrages due to criminal acts.  We will catch those responsible and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” concluded Ramsey.

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