U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Pennsylvania
March 10, 2015

Carmichaels Man Charged with Damaging Natural Gas Well Pad

PITTSBURGH—A Greene County resident has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of damage of an energy facility, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The one-count indictment, returned on January 27, 2015, named Heath A. Rankin, 33, of Carmichaels, PA, as a defendant.

According to the information presented to the court, on or about March 26, 2014, Rankin damaged the Burchianti Pad, a pad of five natural gas wells operated by Chevron North America Exploitation and Production Company, a division of Chevron USA, Inc.

Rankin made an Initial Appearance in Federal Court on March 5, 2015. An arraignment and detention hearing are set for March 18, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. before Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly. Rankin was ordered detained pending those proceedings.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Nelson P. Cohen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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