ELLSWORTH COUNTY, Kan. (KSNT) – An Ellsworth County man is facing federal charges after the Acting U.S. Attorney said he tampered with a Kansas public water system.
Wyatt A. Travnichek, 22, of Ellsworth County, has been indicted on charges of tampering with a public water system and reckless damage to a protected computer during unauthorized access. The tampering charge carries a potential 20 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
Acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard said Travnichek hacked into the Ellsworth County Rural Water District’s computer system on March 27, 2019, and shut down the cleaning and disinfecting procedures that run on the water supply.
The indictment against Travnichek alleges he was intentionally trying to harm Ellsworth Rural Water District No. 1.
“By illegally tampering with a public drinking water system, the defendant threatened the safety and health of an entire community.”Lance Ehrig, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division in Kansas.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation teamed up with the EPA and the FBI to investigate the case before the U.S. Attorney formally indicted Travnichek with the federal charge.