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BOISE, Idaho – Randy Scott Vail, 59, of Meridian, was sentenced to five years probation for destroying an energy facility on June 8 and 9, 2023, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today.

Vail fired at both the Hells Canyon Dam and Brownlee Dam hydroelectric plants, operated by Idaho Power, causing power outages and significant damage to them. Vail fired at the power plants in the late morning hours of June 8 and early morning hours of June 9, causing visible large clouds of sparks at the facilities.

After Vail fired at the two power plants, he was encountered by a deputy on his motorcycle heading toward Cambridge, Idaho. After a short chase, Vail was arrested. A search of Vail and his motorcycle revealed two rifles, bolt cutters, and live and spent ammunition.

“The defendant’s conduct jeopardized our power supply and all aspects of our lives that depend on it,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit. “The defendant was motivated by anti-law and anti-government sentiment. To be clear, he was charged for his illegal conduct, not his beliefs. Nevertheless, this case shows that our way of life is threatened when people begin to believe that ideology can somehow justify violence. That is never the case. I am grateful to our local law enforcement partners and the FBI for their work on this case, and to Idaho Power for its cooperation. We will continue to work to protect Idaho’s critical infrastructure and hold wrongdoers accountable.”

In phone calls with his family during his time in prison, Vail repeatedly stated that the government was “illegitimate,” that he wanted to “make a statement,” and claimed that “we need a revolution or a civil war.”

In addition to his five years of probation, Vail was ordered to pay Idaho Power $546,982.46 in restitution.

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