Bakersfield Men Enter Guilty Pleas to Damaging Oilfield Facilities

Fresno, California - Derek A. Brown, 33, and Bryan T. Schaub, 22, of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty to conspiring to damage energy facilities, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, Derek A. Brown and Bryan T. Schaub stole programmable logic controllers and other equipment from oil field facilities of Chevron, Occidental, Seneca Western Minerals Corporation, Aera Energy, and Berry Petroleum during 2011 and 2012. Programmable logic controllers are computers that control the opening and closing of valves in the oil fields. The theft of a programmable logic controller creates the risk of an oil spill or loss of production if not detected and remedied in time. The total loss of equipment by the oil companies exceeded $200,000.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kern County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Duce Rice and Michael Tierney are prosecuting the case.

Brown and Schaub are scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii July 14, 2014. They face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison, restitution, and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

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