Men Hit With $1.1 Million Fine For Hitting, Causing Leak In Pipeline While Target Shooting

Not from the oil spill in the story. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Taylor Giles Contributor
Font Size:

A federal judge ordered two Minnesota men Wednesday to pay $1.1 million in damages after their gunfire caused a leak in a diesel fuel pipeline, according to the Star Tribune.

Eric Weckwerth-Pineda and Tanner Sik pled guilty to misdemeanor negligent discharge of a pollutant after the April 2019 rupture sent over 3,900 gallons of diesel fuel into a stream, according to the Star Tribune.

Weckwerth-Pineda reportedly told a Lyon County sheriff’s deputy that the two got bored and decided to start shooting at the pipeline. (RELATED: Oil Spill Devastates Wildlife Off Coast Of California)

Sik shot his AR-15 rifle at the pipeline at least three times while Weckwerth-Pineda used the scope on his rifle to spot the impact of the shots, the Star Tribune reported.

“I regret it. I feel horrible. I do a lot of hunting and help build things to help creatures survive in that area, and unfortunately [the leak] will harm those creatures,” Weckwerth-Pineda said, reported the Star Tribune. “I was in the wrong place with the wrong person who decided to make one bad call. And well, if you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes.”

The men were sentenced to a year of probation along with the $1.1 million fine.