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Fort Worth man sentenced to 5 years for attempted pipeline bombing

Court documents reported that on Jan. 26, 2022, Ryan Blake McKinney, 22, tried to blow up a portion of the Permian Highway Pipeline by detonating a device.

HAYS COUNTY, Texas — A Fort Worth man connected with trying to "damage or destroy a portion of the Permian Highway Pipeline" in Hays County was sentenced to five years on Thursday, according to the United States Attorney's Office Western District of Texas.

Court documents report that on Jan. 26, 2022, 22-year-old Ryan Blake McKinney tried to blow up a portion of the Permian Highway Pipeline by detonating a device.

“Despite this defendant’s failed attempt to cause destruction, his intent, as shown in his thorough planning, posed an irresponsible and very dangerous risk,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas. “Our prosecution and the sentencing in this case make it clear that attacks on our nation’s critical infrastructure are unacceptable and will be met with the full force of the law.”

According to the documents, McKinney spent time planning out his attack and targeted the pipeline as part of his "ideological fight against capitalism and climate change."

He stated his goal was to "weaken Texas energy independence and ensure significant economic consequences." But he turned himself in after the attempt failed.

“This sentencing demonstrates the FBI's and our Joint Terrorism Task Force partners' commitment to protecting our communities from violent extremists who seek to advance their ideology through acts of terrorism,” said Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich Jr. with the FBI San Antonio Division. “We would like to thank the Austin Police Department and the Hays County Sheriff's Office for their assistance on this case.” 

The FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorneys G. Karthik Srinivasan and Michael C. Galdo were involved in this case.

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