Jason Woodring, 38, of Jacksonville, Arkansas, was sentenced to 15 years in prison today on charges related to his attacks on Central Arkansas’ power grid between August and October 2013. In addition to the term of imprisonment, Woodring will be required to pay $4,792,224 in restitution to Entergy for his attacks on the power lines and electrical tower near Cabot, Arkansas, and a switching station in Scott, Arkansas. Woodring will also pay $48,729 to First Electric Cooperative for damage to the downed power lines and poles in Jacksonville.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Thyer of the Eastern District of Arkansas, Special Agent in Charge David T. Resch of the FBI’s Little Rock, Arkansas, Division and Resident Special Agent in Charge Grover Crossland of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Little Rock Field Office made the announcement.
Today, U.S. District Court Judge Billy Roy Wilson of the Eastern District of Arkansas accepted the plea agreement and imposed the recommended 15-year sentence. On March 10, 2015, Woodring pleaded guilty to destruction of an energy facility for downing the Cabot power lines and for setting fire to the Scott power station. He also pleaded guilty to using fire to commit a felony in relation to the arson in Scott, and to being an illegal drug user in possession of various firearms and ammunition. Woodring also agreed to forfeit the firearms and ammunition.
Woodring’s 2013 attacks included sabotaging an electrical support tower and downing a 500,000-volt power line onto a railroad track near Cabot, which resulted in approximately $550,000 worth of damage; setting fire to and destroying an Extra High Voltage switching station in Scott, causing over $4 million in damages; and cutting down two power poles, which led to the temporary loss of power to approximately 9,000 people in Jacksonville. Woodring was charged in an eight-count indictment by a federal grand jury on Nov. 6, 2013.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force; ATF; Union Pacific Police; Entergy; First Electric; the Lonoke County, Arkansas, Sheriff’s Office; Cabot Police; Arkansas State Police; the Conway, Arkansas, Police Department; the Little RockPolice Department; and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael S. Gordon and Cameron Charles McCree of the Eastern District of Arkansas, with the assistance of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.