SALT LAKE CITY — Two men who allegedly forced an Amtrak train to shut down due to a copper wire theft have been charged.
Klayton Donnald Bourke, 33, of East Carbon, and Ryan Scott Ferguson, 45, of Sunnyside, were charged Thursday in 7th District Court with criminal mischief causing damage to critical infrastructure, a second-degree felony, and theft, a class B misdemeanor.
On Wednesday, Union Pacific workers near Woodside were investigating a copper wire theft, according to an Emery County Jail booking report.
"Union Pacific dispatchers received an alert in the same area that the signal/communication line had been disrupted, which resulted in the Amtrak train having to be shut down until the problem was fixed. This line is what communicates to the trains that the tracks are clear for them to continue on safely without being in a head-on with another train or driving over possible damaged track. According to Union Pacific, if this line is damaged it puts lives in danger," the report states.
A worker spotted the truck Bourke and Ferguson were in and took a picture with his cellphone. An Emery County sheriff's deputy later found the two men.
"I looked in the back of the pickup and observed several rolls of wire that appeared to be from the railroad line," the deputy wrote in the report.
The deputy later checked with a local metal recycling company and discovered that on Monday, "both suspects took 219 pounds of what appeared to be the same wire to (the company). They received $427 for this load," the report states.
As the men were being interviewed at the sheriff's office, Ferguson eventually broke down, saying he had been struggling lately in his personal life, in part because of a meth addiction, according to the report.