April 8, 2004
"This was a serious crime against the State of Alaska, and against our efforts to make our homeland more secure," Attorney General Gregg Renkes said. "We recognize this judgment will never be completely paid, and the true victim is ultimately the public. Hopefully the stiff sentence in this case will deter others from such senseless destruction."
The court acknowledged the unlikelihood that Lewis will ever be able to pay all of the money back, but said that the judgment for the entire amount is appropriate in the event he ever comes into a large sum of money.
In October 2001, just three
weeks after the September 11 terrorist attack, an intoxicated
Lewis shot a hole in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in Livengood near
milepost 400 of the pipeline. The high pressure caused a quarter-million
gallons of crude oil to shoot hundreds of feet and prompted a
massive response by Alyeska to contain and clean up the oil.
In 2002, a Fairbanks jury convicted Lewis of all five charges
brought against him, including damaging the pipeline, assault,
and oil pollution. Lewis, who was on probation due to convictions
in other cases, was sentenced to serve approximately 16 years.
Assistant Attorney General Kevin Burke prosecuted the case.
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