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Arizona student jailed in Penn. for oil well vandalism

SMETHPORT, Pa. — A student intern from Arizona has been jailed on charges
that he vandalized three gas and oil wells in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National

Online court records don’t list an attorney for 20-year-old Jeffrey Branham, of
Prescott, Ariz. He had been working to clear a trail with others from the
Student Conservation Association when other members of that group heard a loud
boom Wednesday and saw Branham and another worker run toward them covered in

State police investigated and said Branham acknowledged damaging
three wells, whose pressure gauges were broken off.

A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said
roughly one barrel of oil spewed into the ground and nearby trees.

Branham faced a preliminary hearing Thursday on charges of criminal mischief
and risking a catastrophe.


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