(UPDATED with additional information from arrest warrant and indictment.)
Two local men have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges they tampered with railroad signals.
The indictment, unsealed Wednesday, accuses William C. Brown, 24, of Elizabeth and Brandon E. Peck, 24, of Glassport of damaging railroad signals and equipment, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said in a prepared release.
According to the indictment, federal prosecutors claim that Brown cut cables on railroad signal antennas on a CSX equipment shack on Nov. 1. Prosecutors further claim that Brown and Peck returned the following day to remove the antennas.
Federal officials did not say where the incident occurred, but that it happened on a CSX Railroad line that is also used by Amtrak, within Allegheny County.
Brown is charged with committing a terrorist attack against a railroad, while Brown and Peck together are charged with conspiracy. The crimes are felonies.
Peck is a railroad buff and a member of the McKeesport Model Railroad Club in Christy Park.
The club's board announced Friday in a prepared statement that Peck is on a "leave of absence" while the investigation continues.
"The McKeesport Model Railroad Club does not promote nor tolerate any actions taken against our railroads as this can adversely affect the safety and well-being of railroad employees," the club's board said.
The charges carry a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or both, Brady said.
Both men are currently free on $20,000 bond following their arraignments.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI, CSX railroad police and Amtrak officials.
Originally published April 13, 2018.