• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 36s

Fairbanks man indicted in connection with 1978 pipeline bombing

By Hope Miller 6:29 PM May 23, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

A 61-year-old Fairbanks man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for making false statements to the FBI.

Phillip Martin Olson was indicted following a renewed investigation of a bombing attack on the trans-Alaska pipeline from mid-February of 1978, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office.

An indictment alleges that Olson told the FBI last year and earlier this year of his personal involvement in the pipeline attack. He also “falsely implicated another individual in carrying out the bombing with him,” prosecutors said.

Although assistant U.S. attorney Joe Bottini said prosecutors do believe Olson is responsible for the pipeline attack — and that he acted alone — they can’t charge him with that crime because of the statute of limitations.

On Feb. 15, 1978, a pilot flying over the pipeline, located north of Fairbanks, “spotted what appeared to be a large plume of crude oil jetting from the pipeline,” near Nordale Road and Chena Hot Springs Road, the statement said.

An investigation found that an explosive device had been put on the pipeline and detonated. Around 12,000 to 14,000 barrels of crude oil spewed from the pipeline and onto nearby terrain before the spill was stopped, the indictment says. Despite an investigation by state and federal law enforcement, no one was charged with the bombing.

In November 2013 — more than 35 years later — the FBI was told that Olson had been saying he was responsible for the bombing. At that point, a joint investigation between Alaska State Troopers and the FBI was renewed and involved interviews with Olson and others.

When interviewed three different times, Olson said he carried out the attack and implicated another person, the district attorney’s office said.

Olson’s accusations caused the FBI to waste time and resources looking into the claim, the indictment says.

Olson was arrested in Fairbanks Friday morning and arraigned in the afternoon. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Latest Stories

  • Pregnant mom says she fatally shot boyfriend in YouTube stunt gone wrong

    by CBS News/Associated Press on Jun 28, 16:23

    HALSTAD, Minn. — A Minnesota woman charged in the fatal shooting of her boyfriend told authorities it was a video stunt gone wrong. Monalisa Perez, of Halstad, was charged Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Pedro Ruiz III. The family told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune the couple has a young child and that Perez […]

  • Weather

    ‘Big Bang Theory’ star’s home burns down in California wildfire

    by CBS News/Associated Press on Jun 28, 16:20

    SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The home of “Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki has been destroyed in a wildfire in California. Nicole Perna, a spokeswoman for the 42-year-old actor, says his home on a ranch in the San Luis Obispo area was destroyed by the wildfire on the state’s central coast. “My heart goes […]

  • News

    DHS announces new enhanced security measures for commercial flights into U.S.

    by CBS News on Jun 28, 16:17

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it is implementing new enhanced security measures for all commercial flights coming into the United States, according to a senior DHS official. DHS Secretary John Kelly made the formal announcement at an event Wednesday afternoon. “It is time we raise the global baseline of global aviation security. We […]

  • Lifestyle

    Air pollution levels considered safe can still shorten lifespans, study shows

    by CBS News on Jun 28, 16:15

    ATLANTA — A study released Wednesday shows that levels of air pollution considered safe can still shorten lifespans. The study also found that the air in Atlanta is among the worst in the country. Even on days when he can play outside, 4-year-old Reco Lovett is never far from his inhaler. At age 2, he […]

  • News

    Gov. Walker participates in White House energy meeting

    by Associated Press on Jun 28, 15:31

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Gov. Bill Walker participated Wednesday in a White House meeting on energy issues. His office says that Walker was one of four governors invited to discuss energy opportunities in their respective states. U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt joined Walker and the governors of Iowa, […]

  • Competency hearing continued for 91-year-old charged with murder

    by Bonney Bowman on Jun 28, 14:58

    A judge continued a competency hearing for 91-year-old Duane Marvin, the Anchorage man accused of killing his wife. The state received a report about Marvin’s competency Tuesday and asked the judge to continue the hearing for 30 days so prosecutors can take time to talk to experts and understand what’s in the report. Marvin faces […]

  • Lawyer: AG is harassing Wagner family in Rhoden case

    by Associated Press on Jun 28, 12:36

    WAVERLY, Ohio (AP) – An attorney for a family that is now the focus of the investigation into the slayings of eight members of a different family in Ohio says his clients are being harassed by the attorney general’s office despite their cooperation. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports attorney John Clark says the Wagner family provided […]

  • Mat-Su Miners go to bat for Mat-Su Food Bank

    by Dave Leval on Jun 28, 12:26

    Eddie Ezell has seen better days at the Mat-Su Food Bank in Wasilla. “As you can see on our shelves, we’re a little thin. We still have food for people, it’s not like we have to close our doors,” said Ezell. “We do have canned vegetables we purchased with the money people donated,” Ezell said. […]