Two admit lying in probe of NY train track vandalism

Buffalo, New York (AP) March 2011

Two people now admit they lied to investigators after someone tried to derail a passenger train traveling through New York’s Cattaraugus Indian Reservation last summer.

U.S. Attorney William Hochul says 48-year-old James Phillips and 44-year-old Christine Seneca of Irving pleaded guilty last week to making a false statement.

Authorities say they lied about who’d been at a party held near the scene hours before the train hit a barricade placed on the tracks.

So far, no one’s been charged with the attempted derailment. An eastbound Amtrak train carrying 354 people was slightly damaged when it hit the barricade early July 5. Investigators say a train going the opposite way could have veered off the tracks.

Phillips and Seneca face up to five years in prison when they’re sentenced June 1.