U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Arkansas
Eastern District of Arkansas
For Immediate Release
November 6, 2013
Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney
Contact: Christopher Thyer
Federal Grand Jury Returned Eight Count Indictment Today on Woodring
Includes charge of terrorist attack against railroad carrier
LITTLE ROCK — Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas announced today that Jason Woodring, age 37, of Jacksonville, Arkansas, was indicted today by a federal grand jury on eight counts related to his attacks on the power grid in Central Arkansas. Woodring is currently in federal custody.
Woodring is charged in Count One with a terrorist attack against a railroad carrier for his alleged August 21, 2013, sabotage of a high voltage power line support tower. During the process of dismantling the tower, a power line fell on a nearby railroad track and was later struck by a passing train, severing the power line and causing a brief power outage in Cabot, Arkansas.
In Counts Two, Three and Six of the Indictment, Woodring is charged with the destruction of an energy facility. These charges stem from allegations that he attempted to destroy the support tower and the power lines it carried on August 21, 2013; that he set a fire on September 29, 2013, at an Extra High Voltage (EHV) switching station in Scott, Arkansas; and that he cut down two power poles, pulling down one with a stolen tractor on October 6, 2013, causing a power outage in Jacksonville, Arkansas.
Count Four of the indictment charges Woodring with use of a fire to commit a felony that is prosecutable in a United States court for the EHV station fire. Count Five charges Woodring with maliciously damaging or destroying by fire the EHV station building.
Woodring is charged with possession of an unregistered short–barrelled shotgun with an obliterated serial number in Count Seven of the Indictment. County Eight alleges that Woodring is addicted to methamphetamine and as an illegal drug user he possessed two rifles, three shotguns, and multiple rounds of ammunition.
Lastly, the Indictment includes two forfeiture allegations related to the weapons he possessed. Upon conviction of Count Seven, he would forfeit the short–barrelled shotgun and upon conviction of Count Eight Woodring would forfeit the additional weapons and ammunition.
Woodring faces up to life in prison and/or not more than five years of supervised release after prison for the terrorist attack against a railroad carrier. The charge of destruction of an energy facility carries a possible sentence of not more than 20 years in prison. Use of a fire to commit a felony has a statutory sentence of ten years consecutive to the underlying felony. Malicious use of fire carries a possible sentence of not less than five years but not more than 20 years in prison. Woodring could also face not more than a $250,000 fine for each charge against him. Counts Two through Six each carry not more than three years of supervised release.
This investigation was conducted by the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Union Pacific Police, Entergy, First Electric, Lonoke County Sheriff's Office, Cabot Police, Arkansas State Police, Conway Police Department, Little Rock Police Department and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Assistant United States Attorney Michael Gordon is prosecuting this case for the United States.
The charges set forth in an Indictment are merely allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.