Worker gets prison for damaging Pa. gas pipeline

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — A former construction worker has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison for purposefully damaging a natural gas pipeline in central Pennsylvania.

Forty-six-year-old Bradford, Ark., resident Henry Virgil Benton accepted a plea agreement to the federal charge of willfully and knowingly damaging a pipeline during excavation activity. Investigators say he used a piece of machinery to damage the pipeline in Cogan House Township in June 2011.

The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/YgoEi2 ) Benton told a federal judge he was “truly sorry all this came about.”

He worked for Texas-based contractor Holloman Construction, but has since been terminated. He’s been making restitution, but still owes more than $121,000.

U.S. Middle District Judge John E. Jones III says he’s still not sure what motivated Benton to damage the pipeline.

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Information from: Williamsport Sun-Gazette, http://www.sungazette.com

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