A former network engineer at a West Virginia oil and gas company could face up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty this week to sabotaging the company’s systems so badly that its operations were affected for a month.
Ricky Joe Mitchell admitted to prosecutors that in June 2012, just after finding out he was going to be terminated, he tapped into EnerVest’s system and reset its network servers to the original factory settings, according to a press release issued this week by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s office.
“As a result of his intentional conduct, EnerVest was unable to fully communicate or conduct business operations for approximately 30 days,” the release said. “In addition, data that the company thought had been backed up could not be retrieved.”
Mitchell faces sentencing on April 24. He could receive up to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release, according to Goodwin’s office. He must also pay restitution.