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Felony charges filed against pipeline activists in ND

CAVALIER, N.D. - Three pipeline activists accused of interfering with emergency valves on TransCanada's Keystone Pipeline near Walhalla this week have been charged with felony criminal conspiracy and other charges.A total of 14 criminal charges r...

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Pipes for underground fuel transport for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline lie in a field in Gascoyne, North Dakota April 23, 2013. REUTERS/Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail
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CAVALIER, N.D. – Three pipeline activists accused of interfering with emergency valves on TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline near Walhalla this week have been charged with felony criminal conspiracy and other charges.

A total of 14 criminal charges ranging from misdemeanors to Class A felonies were filed Thursday, Oct. 13, in Pembina County District Court against Michael Eric Foster, 52, Seattle, Samuel L. Jessup, Burlington, Vt., and Deia Lisabeth Schlosberg, Bozeman, Mont.

The three were part of a group called Climate Direct Action who said they were standing in solidarity with Dakota Access Pipeline opponents when they tampered Tuesday with five pipelines that carry Canadian crude into the United States.

Foster is facing eight criminal charges, with the most serious being theft of property, theft of services and two counts of criminal conspiracy, all Class A felony crimes.

Court records say Foster used bolt cutters to break into a locked facility and manually closed a pipeline valve, stopping the flow of oil for more than seven hours and costing the company $50,000.

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Jessup and Schlosberg are each charged with three counts of criminal conspiracy, including two that are Class A felonies.

Prosecutors in Minnesota filed felony charges against two members of the same activist group for similarly tampering with two Enbridge pipelines.

Related Topics: CRIME
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