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Idaho man charged with shooting rifle at two hydroelectric power stations

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho man has been charged with two counts of destruction of an energy facility after federal prosecutors said he shot a rifle at two hydroelectric power stations and caused damage to both.

Randy Scott Vail, 58, of Meridian, allegedly used the firearm to shoot at the Hells Canyon Dam station and the Brownlee Dam station on June 8 and June 9, according to charging documents.

Owned by Idaho Power Company, the dams produce, transmit, store and distribute electricity to Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. The shooting caused over $100,000 in damage, according to an indictment.

Authorities arrested Vail on June 9, following a high-speed chase near Cambridge, about 70 miles northwest of Boise. Riding on a white sport motorcycle, Vail allegedly went 80 mph in a 25-mph zone as officers pursued him.

After Vail pulled to a stop, a Washington County deputy wrote in a probable cause affidavit, officers found he had a case holding two rifles, bolt cutters and two tire-repair cans “full of what smelled like gasoline.”

Court records did not list an attorney who might speak on Vail’s behalf.

If convicted, Vail could a maximum of 20 years in federal prison, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho.

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