Lyon County Men Plead Guilty To Causing 3,900 Gallon Oil Spill Into Yellow Medicine River
(STL.News) Acting United States Attorney W. Anders Folk announced the guilty pleas of ERIC JAY WECKWORTH-PINEDA, 25, and TANNER JOHN SIK, 21, to one count each of negligent discharge of a pollutant. WECKWORTH-PINEDA and SIK, who were charged by misdemeanor information on October 8, 2020, pleaded guilty before Senior Judge Michael J. Davis in U.S. District Court. Sentencing dates will be scheduled at a later time.
“The reckless behavior of these defendants led to significant damage to the Magellan Pipeline and subsequent release to the Yellow Medicine River,” said Jennifer Lynn, Special Agent in Charge of the EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Minnesota. “EPA will continue to hold individuals responsible for their environmental violations and the resulting harm.”
According to the defendants’ guilty pleas and documents filed with the court, on April 24, 2019, WECKWORTH-PINEDA and SIK traveled to the northwest side of Cottonwood Lake in Lyon County, Minnesota, to a bridge that spans a dam between Cottonwood Lake and a creek called Judicial Ditch 24, which flows into the Yellow Medicine River . WECKWORTH-PINEDA and SIK took guns to the bridge to shoot.