Arizona Woman Faces Six Year Prison Sentence for Damaging Pipeline in Iowa

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(Des Moines, IA) -- An Arizona woman will spend the next 6 years in federal prison for conspiracy to damage the Dakota Access Pipeline at several locations in Iowa and South Dakota.

"The sentence imposed today demonstrates that any crime of domestic terrorism will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted by the federal government," says U.S. Attorney Richard Westphal in a news release. "The seriousness of the defendant’s actions – that occurred multiple times, at different locations, resulting in over $3 million dollars in restitution – warranted the significant prison sentence imposed by the Court and should deter others who think of engaging in such criminal acts."

Court documents say 32-year-old Ruby Montoya admitted to conspiring and attempting to damage the pipeline by burning holes and setting fire to the pipeline and its equipment. Montoya is being ordered to pay $3,198,512.70 in restitution for the damages.

"The sentence received by Ruby Montoya sends a clear message that those who commit violence through an act of domestic terrorism will be identified, investigated, and prosecuted," says FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowl. "The FBI is committed to protecting the American people. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring domestic terrorists to justice."

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Iowa Department of Public Safety, Fusion Center; Iowa State Fire Marshall; Des Moines Police Department; Sheriff’s Departments in Mahaska, Boone, Buena Vista, Cherokee, Jasper, Polk, Sioux, and Wapello Counties in Iowa; Lincoln County in South Dakota; and Minnehaha County in Minnesota.

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