A Jacksonville man was arrested Saturday in multiple acts of sabotage to a central Arkansas power grid, a U.S. attorney said in a statement.
Jason Woodring, 37, was charged in destruction of an energy facility after the Lonoke County Sheriff's office received several complaints on Friday about an explosion on John Shelton Road in Jacksonville, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Christopher Thyer said.
Authorities determined those explosions occurred under power lines near Woodring's home, according to the news release. FBI agents also responded to the scene and noted that a blue hose at the residence was similar to a hose found at another power grid attack scene.
The first of three power grid attacks occurred Aug. 21 in Cabot, the U.S. attorney's office said. A shackle that secured a 500,000-volt power line was cut, causing a power line to fall onto a nearby railroad track. That power line was later severed by a passing train, causing a brief power outage in Cabot.
A second attack was reported Sept. 29 in Scott, where officials said an Entergy electricity station received more than $2 million in damage after the station was set on fire and someone had written in black marker "You should have expected U.S." at its entrance.
A third incident was reported by First Electric Cooperative Oct. 6 in Jacksonville, which caused a power outage affecting about 9,000 people, officials said. A 115,000-volt transmission line fell after two power poles had been cut. One of the poles had been purportedly pulled down by a tractor that was reported stolen from a location across the street from Woodring's residence.
The U.S. attorney's office said it anticipates that Woodring will make an initial appearance in court Tuesday. If convicted, Woodring faces at least 20 years in jail, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.