DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced an Arizona woman to six years in prison for using a cutting torch to damage the Dakota Access pipeline in Iowa and setting fire to pipeline equipment in three counties in 2016 and 2017.
The judge also ordered 32-year-old Ruby Katherine Montoya to pay nearly $3.2 million in restitution.
Montoya pleaded guilty to conspiracy to damage an energy facility. She admitted to helping Jessica Reznicek and others damage the pipeline in several locations in Iowa.
Reznicek was sentenced to eight years in prison in June 2021 after pleading guilty to a similar charge. She appealed the sentence, but it was upheld by a federal appeals court in June.
Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, constructed the controversial $3.8 billion, 1,168-mile pipeline that cuts through North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa, ending in Illinois.
Environmental groups opposed the pipeline, which they said risked an oil spill disaster.