Cherokee County Man Knocked Radio Station Off the Air
WICHITA, KAN. – A Cherokee County man has been indicted on federal charges he knocked a radio station off the air by cutting copper wiring from a transmission tower, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Jeffrey L. Blake, 39, Scammon, Kan., is charged with one count of attempted damage to a communications system and one count of attempted damage to an energy facility.
The indictment alleges that on Sept. 7, 2011, Blake damaged equipment used by radio station KKOW of Pittsburg, Kan., which serves as part of the Emergency Alert System, a national public warning system. The indictment also alleges that on Sept. 7 Blake damaged equipment belonging to Heartland Rural Electric Company of Girard, Kan.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of attempting to damage an energy facility and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of attempting to damage a communications facility.
The FBI and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is prosecuting.