CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A former network engineer at Charleston-based EnerVest Operating was indicted Tuesday for allegedly causing extensive damage to the company’s computer system.

According to a release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s Office, Ricky Joe Mitchell, 34, of Mableton, GA, was charged with recklessly damaging a protected computer by a federal grand jury sitting in Charleston.

The release stated that Mitchell allegedly accessed a protected computer without authorization on June 26, 2012, erased backup information, and disabled a data replication process designed to transmit backup data that was stored in Houston, Texas.

Mitchell also allegedly deleted all of the company’s phone system accounts, extensions, and accounting data.

According to the release, the damage led to widespread computer network issues and resulted in more than $1 million in losses to EnerVest.

Mitchell faces up to 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine if convicted.

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