ONEIDA COUNTY (WSYR-TV) — According to the Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol, a Utica man was arrested after he entered Oneida County owned property and turned off the power to communication towers.
Local police agencies and the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office were notified of someone turning off power to two county owned communication towers that are used by emergency services; one in the City of Utica and one in the Town of New Hartford.
Officials said these power outages happened around noon on Saturday.
It was determined to be an intentional act by someone entering the fenced in areas of the towers to access the power source, officials said.
According to the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation discovered that Nathaniel C. Sergio, 39, of Utica was at both locations of the power outages at the same time the outages were discovered.
Sergio was previously placed on house arrest overseen by Herkimer County Probation that required him to wear a GPS ankle bracelet to monitor his location and movements.
With the assistance of Herkimer County Probation, the Bracelet Monitor System provided GPS location at the towers when the power was turned off, officials said.
The bracelet was also utilized to determine the location of Sergio as he was driving on Oriskany Boulevard.
Officials said he was taken into custody around 3 p.m.
Sergio was charged with two counts of Criminal Tampering in the first degree, a class D felony. Sergio was taken to centralized arraignment at CAP Court, where he was committed to Oneida County Jail in lieu of $6,000 cash bail.
Three other Cell Phone towers in the area also suffered similar power outages during the same time period, and those charges are currently pending, officials said.
In December 2020, Sergio was charged with similar counts as he was damaging cell phone towers in both Oneida and Herkimer counties, officials said. Those cases are still pending.