A Lyon County man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal misdemeanor for shooting an oil pipe in Cottonwood, Minn., resulting in a $1.1 million cleanup tab.
Tanner John Sik, 21, is charged in Minnesota' U.S. District Court for negligent discharge of a pollution. On April 24, 2019, Sik and Eric Jay Weckwerth-Pineda drove out to bridge near Cottonwood Lake, which flows into the Yellow Medicine River, with several firearms in the back of a truck, according to Sik's plea.
Sik shot an AR-15 four times at a pipeline owned by Magellan Midstream Partners, hitting it and spilling at least 3,900 gallons of diesel fuel into the water, according to the plea. Sik and others noticed a visible sheen on the lake and reported it to authorities.
As part of the plea, Sik agreed to pay restitution for the spill, though the amount is yet to be established. Weckwerth-Pineda has also been charged in connection to the spill and is scheduled to appear in court next week. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis accepted the plea agreement over a Zoom hearing. Sik will be sentenced later this year.
Andy Mannix • 612-673-4036