Franklin County couple indicted for tampering with railroad freight cars

Train cars (Credit: KMOV)

Police arrested two people Friday on an indictment, charging them with removing aluminum braces from Ameren UE railroad cars.

The Department of Justice said a federal grand jury indicted Jacob Brewer, 29, and Michelle Phipps, 27 back in July on one felony count of violence against railroad carriers. The two appeared in federal court Friday morning.

According to the indictment, Brewer and Phipps disabled railroad equipment in February, removing the aluminum stabilizing braces from railroad freight cars. The aluminum braces are designed to keep the cars from derailing. The freight cars are owned by Ameren UE and were transporting coal from Wyoming to Missouri.

If convicted, Brewer and Phipps face up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. The two are also required to compensate for injury or loss to the victim.

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