News Article - August 01, 2008

  Formal federal charges have been filed against a man accused of vandalizing a Chinook helicopter that was being produced for the Army at the Boeing Co. plant in Ridley Township. Matthew Montgomery, 33, of Trevose, who had been a Chinook line worker, is accused in an information of having intentionally cut through about half a bundle of electrical wires on a nearly completed CH-47F on May 10, disabling the helicopter. An information is usually a precursor to a guilty plea.

   "Any action that delays delivery of materiel or that endangers the integrity of Army aircraft affects the safety of the men and women who are serving our country, and will not be tolerated," acting U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid said today in a release announcing the action. If convicted, Montgomery could face a 10-year prison term, a $250,000 fine, and an order to pay $250,000 in restitution.

   Investigators said at the time that no damaged helicopters made it out of the plant. The craft cost $20 million to $30 million apiece, and were being made at the plant south of Philadelphia International Airport in Delaware County. That vandalism, along with the discovery of tampering to a second Chinook helicopter under production, resulted in a shutdown at the plant for several days as investigators moved in. A $10,000 reward is still being offered in the second vandalism case, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a release.

Source - Philadelphia Inquirer