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FBI joins investigation into alleged trespassing and vandalism on Line 5

Up Hell's Creek Camp
An activist slips under a fence around a section of Enbridge's Line 5 oil pipeline in Tuscola County Tuesday.

The FBI has joined the investigation into alleged trespassing and vandalism on Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipeline this week.

An activist shimmied under a fence around a valve structure on the pipeline in Tuscola County on Tuesday and cranked it shut with a wrench.

Enbridge said handling its pipeline equipment was dangerous and criminal. Two Republican state representatives have called it domestic terrorism.

An FBI spokesperson says the agency is helping with the investigation at the request of the Tuscola County sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s office did not respond to phone calls seeking confirmation.

Demonstrators who were at the site when the pipeline was shut down have refused to answer questions from reporters about how the event was planned, or who turned the wrench, out of fear of prosecution. “I’m being targeted as a domestic terrorist. That’s terrifying,” said one, Matthew Borke.

Borke and others said the activist who closed the valve was enforcing Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s order to shut down the pipeline.

Whitmer revoked permission for Enbridge to operate the line earlier this year, but the company is still pumping oil through it.