Chester County DA files charges against employees, security firms working with Mariner East pipeline

WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania -- The Chester County District Attorney's Office announced charges against employees of Energy Transfer and contracted security firms in connection with the Mariner East pipeline project.

This is the second set of charges filed by the District Attorney's Office related to Mariner East.

"State Constables sold their badges and official authority. Energy Transfer bought those badges and authority, then used them as a weapon to intimidate citizens," said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.

The charged defendants are: Frank Recknagel, Security Manager for Energy Transfer; Nikolas McKinnon, Senior Security Adviser for TigerSwan LLC; Michael Boffo, Site Security Supervisor for TigerSwan LLC; James Murphy, operator of Raven Knights LLC; and Richard Lester, registered owner of Raven Knights LLC. The men face bribery, conspiracy, and related offenses regarding the Mariner East Pipeline.

DA: Constables illegally worked as security guards for Sunoco's Mariner East pipeline

According to investigators, rather than simply hiring a private security firm, Energy Transfer hired armed Pennsylvania Constables to act as a private security force for the pipeline.

State constables are not permitted to use their official position or badges for private security jobs, Hogan said.

The investigation by the District Attorney's Office revealed that multiple state constables were appearing at pipeline sites as security personnel, wearing their attire, armed, and displaying constable badges.

Many of the constables were well outside of their home county jurisdictions, investigators said.

The District Attorney Office's further investigation revealed that Energy Transfer's Security Director Frank Recknagel allegedly orchestrated the scheme.

Recknagel arranged to "off-shore" the hiring and payment of the State Constables, attempting to hide the illegal activity, investigators said.

The defendants were arrested and processed on Tuesday. They were placed on unsecured bail and will have a preliminary hearing.

Anyone with further information should contact Chester County Detective Ben Martin at 610-344-6866.