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  • They strike again

    Feds say guilty pleas expected in UW fire

    SEATTLE (AP) - Federal prosecutors say they expect two people to
    plead guilty tomorrow in an arson fire that destroyed the Center
    for Urban Horticulture at the University of Washington in Seattle
    in May of 2001.
    The fire was part of a string of arsons and other acts of
    vandalism around the Northwest blamed on so-called ecoterrorists.
    The Earth Liberation Front, a shadowy collection of
    environmental activists, claimed responsibility for the U-W fire.
    It issued a statement saying the hybrid poplars the center did
    research on posed "an ecological nightmare" for the diversity of
    native forests.
    The U-S attorney's office in Seattle says the two defendants --
    who have not been publicly identified -- are expected to enter
    pleas tomorrow before U-S District Judge Franklin Burgess in Tacoma
    (at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.).
    A federal grand jury last May issued an indictment accusing five
    people of being responsible for the fire. Two of those indicted
    have not been publicly identified.
    The Center for Urban Horticulture was eventually rebuilt at a
    cost of about seven (m) million dollars.

    (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

    Comment


    • Guilty pleas

      TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Two women pleaded guilty Wednesday to
      conspiracy, arson and bomb charges in the 2001 firebombing of the
      University of Washington's horticulture center, one of the
      Northwest's most notorious acts of ecoterrorism.
      Jennifer Kolar, 33, and Lacey Phillabaum, 31, were released
      without bail after entering the pleas in U.S. District Court in
      Tacoma. Authorities said the two turned themselves in and have
      cooperated with ongoing investigations.
      Under their plea agreements, prosecutors will ask U.S. District
      Judge Franklin Burgess to waive mandatory minimum sentences on the
      charges of arson, attempted arson and use of a destructive device.
      That bomb charge alone would otherwise carry a statutory minimum of
      30 years, and a maximum term of life.
      The plea deals instead will ask that Kolar serve five to seven
      years and Phillabaum face a recommended sentence of three to five
      years. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 5.
      Neither woman commented to reporters after leaving the
      courtroom.
      After the hearings, U.S. Attorney John McKay said the women had
      "the misguided belief that they would influence public policy.
      They have not."
      "These violent acts of destruction are not a valid form of
      political speech," he said, calling the arson an act of domestic
      terrorism.
      The fire on May 21, 2001, severely damaged the building, which
      was rebuilt at a cost of about $7 million. The center had done work
      on fast-growing hybrid poplars in hopes of limiting the amount of
      natural forests that timber companies log.
      The Earth Liberation Front, a shadowy collection of
      environmental activists, claimed responsibility and issued a
      statement saying the poplars pose "an ecological nightmare" for
      the diversity of native forests.
      Kolar also pleaded guilty Wednesday to an attempted arson charge
      for a failed 1998 firebombing that damaged a Colorado gun club that
      organized a multistate turkey shoot.
      Under the plea deal, the two women will not face additional
      prosecution for other attacks, including Phillabaum's admitted role
      in destroying five acres of canola in Eastern Washington and
      Kolar's alleged part in arsons in Oregon in 1997 and California in
      2001.
      At least three others were involved in the UW firebombing, court
      documents allege.
      Briana Waters of Berkeley, Calif., has pleaded not guilty and is
      scheduled for trial in May. William Rodgers of Prescott, Ariz.,
      committed suicide in jail after being charged with other acts of
      ecoterrorism.
      A fifth suspect, Justin Solondz, formerly of Jefferson County,
      Wash., remains at large.

      (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
      Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
      Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

      *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
      On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

      Comment


      • GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Four people awaiting trial on charges
        they were part of an ecoterrorism cell that caused $20 million in
        damages from firebombings around the Northwest are due in federal
        court on Thursday to change their pleas.
        Attorneys for the defendants and the prosecution refused to
        comment on terms of the plea agreements that will be put before
        Judge Ann Aiken in U.S. District Court in Eugene.
        A total of 13 people were indicted out of Eugene as part of an
        investigation known as Operation Backfire. Six have pleaded guilty,
        agreeing to testify against the others, and three are fugitives. A
        14th person, Prescott, Ariz., bookstore owner William C. Rodgers,
        described as the leader of the cell, committed suicide in jail just
        before he was to be sent to Oregon to face charges.
        Related cases are being prosecuted out of Washington and
        California.
        The Oregon defendants were charged with arsons from 1996 to 2001
        that were claimed by the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal
        Liberation Front in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming and
        Colorado.
        Authorities said a Eugene-based group calling itself The Family
        set firebombs around the Northwest to stop logging, wild horse
        roundups, genetic engineering of plants, sport utility vehicle
        sales and the expansion of a Vail, Colo., ski resort into
        endangered lynx habitat.
        For years, investigators came up with little more than the
        remains of five-gallon plastic buckets that had been filled with
        diesel and ignited with homemade timing devices.
        The firebombings stopped after the terrorist attacks of Sept.
        11, 2001.
        Then a special taskforce adopted a cold case approach and
        convinced an informant to go to members of The Family with a hidden
        recording device.
        Nathan Frazer Block, 25, of Olympia, Wash., is charged with
        conspiring to commit arson and topple a high-voltage electric
        transmission tower in Central Oregon just before the change of the
        millennium, setting fire to SUVs at the Romania Chevrolet Truck
        Center in Eugene in 2001 and attempted arson and arson at the
        Jefferson Poplar Farm in Clatskanie in 2001.
        Jonathan Christopher Mark Paul, 40, of Ashland, a wildland
        firefighter
        and animal rights activist, is charged with conspiracy
        to commit arson and topple the electrical tower, and setting fire
        to a horse slaughterhouse in Redmond in 1997.
        Daniel McGowan, 32, of New York City, who was working for a
        nonprofit law firm helping abused women when he was arrested, is
        charged with conspiracy to commit arson and toppling the electrical
        tower, setting fire to the Superior Lumber Co. office in Glendale
        in 2001, and attempted arson and arson at the tree farm.
        Joyanna L. Zacher, 28, of Olympia, Wash., is charged with
        conspiracy to commit arson, toppling the electric tower,
        firebombing the SUV dealership, and attempted arson and arson at
        the tree farm.
        Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
        Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

        *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
        On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

        Comment


        • They all get off way too easy.
          Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

          Comment


          • Radical U.S. environmentals plead guilty to arson
            PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Four radical
            environmental activists pleaded guilty Thursday to arson and
            conspiracy charges for a series of fires that prosecutors
            called the largest eco-terrorism case in U.S. history.
            The guilty pleas from the four defendants, acting on behalf
            of the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, end
            a case involving 13 defendants, 20 arsons and other crimes that
            caused a total $30 million in damages.
            "This is the largest case of eco-terrorism in United States
            history," Karin Immergut, U.S. Attorney for the District of
            Oregon, told reporters at a press conference in Portland.
            "The pleas of these individuals today ... have effectively
            dismantled the Northwest cells."
            The four defendants are expected to get jail sentences
            ranging from three to 15 years, Immergut said.
            Authorities said the four defendants played a role in the
            conspiracy to commit arsons in locations around Oregon
            including a meat-packing plant, a car dealership and a tree
            farm. No one was injured in any of the crimes.
            One celebrated incident connected with the Earth Liberation
            Front and Animal Liberation Front apart from the Oregon cases
            was a firebombing in Vail, Colorado, in 1998 against the
            expansion of a ski resort that the radicals felt would encroach
            upon a lynx habitat.
            REUTERS
            Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
            Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

            *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
            On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

            Comment


            • 3 to 15 years for up to 20 arsons and hundreds of firefighters lives put in peril. It's too bad that our court system doesn't seem to take arson sriously as a volient crime.
              Train to fight the fires you fight.

              Comment


              • December 13th

                2 defendants in 1998 Vail arson case to plead guilty Thursday

                EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Two people accused of being involved in the
                1998 arson fire at Vail Resort are expected to formally enter their
                guilty pleas tomorrow in an Oregon courtroom.
                Chelsea Gerlach and Stanislaus Meyerhoff agreed in July to plead
                guilty in the Vail case. They're among three people alleged to be
                part of an ecoterrorist cell that planted fire bombs throughout the
                West between 1996 to 2001.
                Suspect William Rodgers committed suicide in an Arizona jail.
                Damage from the Vail firebombing amounted to 12 (m) million
                dollars. The Earth Liberation Front claimed responsibility, saying
                it burned the resort's buildings and ski lifts because they were an
                obstacle to the development of wild lynx.
                Sentencing is expected in April.
                Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                Comment


                • More

                  EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Two people who have admitted to helping set
                  fire to a Vail, Colo., ski resort in 1998 as part of an Earth
                  Liberation Front campaign were due in court Thursday to plead
                  guilty to federal arson charges.
                  Chelsea Dawn Gerlach and Stanilas Gregory Meyerhoff, both 29,
                  have already pleaded guilty to some of the $20 million worth of
                  arsons committed between 1996 and 2001 by a Eugene-based cell of
                  the Earth Liberation Front known as the Family. Under plea deals
                  with federal prosecutors, they agreed to have the Vail charges
                  transferred from Colorado to Oregon to be settled along with their
                  other cases.
                  The Vail firebombing did $12 million in damage and focused
                  national attention on radical environmentalists who ascribed their
                  attacks to the secretive Earth Liberation Front and Animal
                  Liberation Front, characterized by the FBI as the nation's top
                  domestic terrorism threats.
                  Two others indicted in the Vail arson, Josephine Sunshine
                  Overaker and Rebecca J. Rubin, remain at large.
                  The Vail firebombing was one of 20 firebombings in Oregon,
                  Washington, California, Wyoming and Colorado blamed by federal
                  investigators on the Family. Twelve people - 10 in Oregon and two
                  in Washington - have pleaded guilty in the case known as Operation
                  Backfire. Others remain at large.
                  Authorites have said the group was led by William C. Rodgers,
                  who had left Eugene and was running a bookstore in Prescott, Ariz.,
                  last December when he was arrested along with Gerlach, Meyerhoff
                  and others. Rodgers committed suicide in jail just before he was to
                  be transferred to Oregon.
                  Gerlach was working as a DJ in Portland and living with a
                  Canadian animal rights activist when she was arrested. She grew up
                  in Sweet Home, a timber town where her father worked in a mill, and
                  Eugene, a college town known for its anarchist and environmental
                  activists.
                  She has already pleaded guilty to 18 counts in five attacks,
                  saying she was motivated by "a deep sense of despair and anger at
                  the deteriorating state of the global environment," but has since
                  realized the firebombings did more harm than good for her cause.
                  Prosecutors have recommended she get a 10-year sentence in those
                  cases. According to court records, authorities in Wyoming,
                  Washington and California have agreed not to pursue potential cases
                  against her.
                  Meyerhoff, who was attending community college in
                  Charlottesville, Va., when he was arrested, has renounced ELF and
                  pleaded guilty to 54 counts from seven attacks. Prosecutors have
                  recommended 15 years and eight months in prison for those cases.
                  Authorities in Michigan, Arizona, Washington, Wyoming and
                  California will not prosecute potential cases against him, court
                  records showed.
                  According to court records, the group started in 1996 by
                  firebombing two ranger stations on the Willamette National Forest
                  outside Eugene, where Earth Liberation Front graffiti was painted,
                  and disbanded in 2001 after toppling a high-tension electrical
                  transmission tower in Central Oregon.
                  According to court records, Rodgers recruited Meyerhoff and
                  Gerlach to help him firebomb the ski resort in Vail to prevent it
                  from expanding into endangered lynx habitat.
                  Meyerhoff gave up on the plan after Gerlach's truck got stuck in
                  mud and snow on its way to the mountaintop, but the next day
                  Rodgers planted firebombs made from diesel and five-gallon plastic
                  buckets that burned a lodge and ski lifts. Then Gerlach picked him
                  up and drove to Denver, where she e-mailed a communique taking
                  responsibility from the public library.
                  Vail Resorts Inc. has since rebuilt the lodge 11,000 feet above
                  sea level, some 100 miles west of Denver.
                  The investigation went nowhere for years. But after a task force
                  adopted a "cold case" approach, they were able to find an
                  informant, who, with a hidden tape recorder, looked up old friends
                  from the group and talked to them about the crimes, according to
                  court records and testimony.
                  Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                  Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                  *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                  On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                  Comment


                  • Arson...on behalf of saving the environment?

                    EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Two people who have admitted helping in the
                    $12 million arson of a Vail, Colo., ski resort as part of an
                    ecoterrorism campaign formally pleaded guilty Thursday to federal
                    arson charges.
                    Chelsea Dawn Gerlach and Stanislas Gregory Meyerhoff, both 29,
                    had already pleaded guilty to some of the $20 million worth of
                    arsons committed between 1996 and 2001 by a Eugene-based cell of
                    the Earth Liberation Front known as the Family. Under plea deals
                    with federal prosecutors, they agreed to have charges from the 1998
                    Vail arson transferred from Colorado to Oregon to be settled along
                    with their other cases.
                    Prosecutors have recommended a 10-year prison sentence for
                    Gerlach, who is to be sentenced April 18, and 15 years and eight
                    months for Meyerhoff, who has a sentencing hearing scheduled for
                    April 10.
                    The Vail arson focused national attention on radical
                    environmentalists who ascribed their attacks to the secretive Earth
                    Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, characterized by the
                    FBI as the nation's top domestic terrorism threats. The
                    investigation went nowhere for years until a task force found an
                    informant who got old friends to talk about the crimes in recorded
                    conversations.
                    Two others indicted in the Vail arson, Josephine Sunshine
                    Overaker and Rebecca J. Rubin, remain at large.
                    The Vail arson was one of 20 fires in Oregon, Washington,
                    California, Wyoming and Colorado blamed by federal investigators on
                    the Family. Twelve people - 10 in Oregon and two in Washington -
                    have pleaded guilty in the cases, and others remain at large. The
                    alleged leader of the group, William C. Rodgers, committed suicide
                    in an Arizona jail in December 2005.
                    The lodge destroyed in Vail, about 100 miles west of Denver, has
                    been rebuilt.
                    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

                    Comment

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