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  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • LaFireEducator
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • PFDTruck18
    replied
    They all get off way too easy.

    Leave a comment:


  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    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.)

    Leave a comment:


  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    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.)

    Leave a comment:


  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    Man who set protest fires sentenced to 6 months in prison camp
    CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) - A man who set fires as a teenager at
    construction sites in a form of environmental protest has been
    sentenced to six months at a federal prison camp - once he
    graduates from college in January.
    Matthew Rammelkamp was one of four people accused in connection
    to fires set in December 2000 that damaged nine homes. He pleaded
    guilty to arson conspiracy in 2001, and on Friday, was sentenced by
    U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Platt.
    Platt said the sentence, to be served at the Allenwood, Pa.,
    federal camp, would start 10 days after Rammelkamp's graduation
    from Stony Brook University in January.
    Rammelkamp was 16 at the time of the fires and said he was upset
    at the time over cancer clusters in the area near his home -
    clusters he was told by others were connected to construction and
    environmental damage.
    "I'm ashamed I let my passion push me so far," Rammelkamp
    said. "I was young and immature."
    Rammelkamp and the others involved were tied at the time to the
    Earth Liberation Front, an organization that has claimed
    responsibility for a wave of arson and vandalism attacks
    nationwide.
    ---
    Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com

    (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

    Leave a comment:


  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    By JOHN HEILPRIN
    Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON (AP) - Environmental and animal rights activists who
    have turned to arson and explosives are the nation's top domestic
    terrorism threat, an FBI official told a Senate committee on
    Wednesday.
    Groups such as the Animal Liberation Front, the Earth Liberation
    Front and Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty are "way out in front"
    in terms of damage and number of crimes, said John Lewis, the FBI's
    deputy assistant director for counterterrorism.
    "There is nothing else going on in this country over the last
    several years that is racking up the high number of violent crimes
    and terrorist actions," Lewis said.
    ALF says on its Web site that its small, autonomous groups of
    people take "direct action" against animal abuse by rescuing
    animals and causing financial loss to animal exploiters, usually
    through damage and destruction of property. ELF is an underground
    movement with no public leadership, membership or spokesperson.
    The British-based SHAC describes itself as a worldwide campaign
    since 1999 to rescue animals tortured in research labs and shut
    down the businesses that rely on their use. It says it "does not
    encourage or incite illegal activity."
    Lewis said the FBI concluded that after analyzing all types of
    cases and comparing the groups with "right-wing extremists, KKK,
    anti-abortion groups and the like." He said most animal rights and
    eco-extremists so far have refrained from violence targeting human
    life.
    "The FBI has observed troubling signs that this is changing. We
    have seen an escalation in violent rhetoric and tactics," he told
    the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "Attacks are
    also growing in frequency and size."
    Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the panel's chairman, said he hoped
    to examine more closely how the groups might be getting assistance
    in fundraising and communications from tax-exempt organizations'
    "mainstream activists" not directly blamed for the violence.
    "Just like al-Qaida or any other terrorist organization, ELF
    and ALF cannot accomplish their goals without money, membership and
    the media," Inhofe said.
    The FBI said 35 of its offices have 150 open investigations,
    with activists claiming credit for 1,200 crimes between 1990 and
    mid-2004.
    Investigators cite examples of people using arson, bombings,
    theft, animal releases, vandalism, harassing phone calls, letters
    rigged with razor blades, and office takeovers.
    Such tactics have been used in what officials call "direct
    action" campaigns to disrupt university research labs,
    restaurants, fur farms and logging operations. Newer targets
    include SUV dealerships and new home developments as signs of urban
    sprawl.
    Officials say the incidents have caused more than $110 million
    in damage. The biggest so far was an arson at a five-story
    condominium under construction in San Diego in August 2003 that
    caused $50 million in damage.
    In the past few years arson fires and explosives have been used
    increasingly, Lewis said. "We have a serious movement afoot," he
    said.
    Since 1993, when ELF declared solidarity with ALF, "there has
    been a convergence of agendas," said Carson Carroll, deputy
    assistant director for field operations of the Bureau of Alcohol,
    Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the nation's premier bomb
    investigators.
    "The most worrisome trend to law enforcement and private
    industry alike has been the increase in willingness by these
    movements to resort to the use of incendiary and explosive
    devices," Carroll said.
    ---
    On the Net:
    Senate Environment: http://epw.senate.gov

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Fawlty
    replied
    Slippery as oiled weasel poop..

    So.. ahem, drum roll please.. audience goes quiet as George wriggles and slips like a grease covered Houdini from for what most people I believe would concede, is an open and shut need for an admission of an error in ways!!
    That says it all..

    I'll give this one to you George, you are damn good. If I ever wanted an expert witness (and you happened to have the same opinion as the one I needed to prove) you would be my # 1 pick!!

    As for still defending someone.. was that asked of me?? I certainly wasn't or haven't ever defended any arsonist, no matter what the motivation.. in the words of my last origin & cause lecturer "Not no but hell no".

    Leave a comment:


  • GeorgeWendtCFI
    replied
    Originally posted by Fawlty


    [From the news article
    Parady ''selected or aided and abetted the selection of the Hunters Brooke development as the object of the arson because he knew or perceived that many of the purchasers of the houses in that development were African-American,'' Assistant U.S. Attorney Donna Sanger said.

    - Looks like at least an inch of space devoted to a racial motive 'involving those peopple'!!

    From George

    Well, in my book, 'Dennis' did find that inch of space, and it was devoted to motive, and it was basing it on race..

    So.. ahem, drum roll please.. audience goes quiet as George wriggles and slips like a grease covered Houdini from for what most people I believe would concede, is an open and shut need for an admission of an error in ways!!

    Trust me George, I know that you will tie this up into 'just a prosecutor's opinion' or whatever.. but really, just admit it, pretty please, for me, I know you can do it.... thats it.. come on Georgy.. just form those words.. "I.... apol.... og.... ize...."

    Dennis, I think we are just asking way too much!!!
    The quote that you so conveniently took out of context meant that one column inch of space that was printed BEFORE you started spreadng unsubstantiated rumor. No apology forthcoming.

    Let's go to yesterday's Baltimore Sun:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/loc...ck=2&cset=true

    [B]But in a court appearance earlier this month, Parady denied making the comments about racial motivations.

    Speed's mother, Terri Douglas, said yesterday, "I don't know where the race thing comes from except for Mr. Parady. ... I never brought my kids up that way."
    B]

    That is far from proof.

    Nice try, though. You still defending these guys?

    Leave a comment:


  • Fawlty
    replied
    But, as far as I can find, there has not been one single column inch of space devoted to a racial motive involving thepeopple who have been arrested.
    [From the news article
    Parady ''selected or aided and abetted the selection of the Hunters Brooke development as the object of the arson because he knew or perceived that many of the purchasers of the houses in that development were African-American,'' Assistant U.S. Attorney Donna Sanger said.

    - Looks like at least an inch of space devoted to a racial motive 'involving those peopple'!!

    From George
    Prove me wrong and I will admit the error of my ways.
    Well, in my book, 'Dennis' did find that inch of space, and it was devoted to motive, and it was basing it on race..

    So.. ahem, drum roll please.. audience goes quiet as George wriggles and slips like a grease covered Houdini from for what most people I believe would concede, is an open and shut need for an admission of an error in ways!!

    Trust me George, I know that you will tie this up into 'just a prosecutor's opinion' or whatever.. but really, just admit it, pretty please, for me, I know you can do it.... thats it.. come on Georgy.. just form those words.. "I.... apol.... og.... ize...."

    Dennis, I think we are just asking way too much!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • GeorgeWendtCFI
    replied
    No apology forthcoming.

    Two things:

    1. I never said the fires were not racially motivated. What I have maintained, and still maintain, is that there is no evidence that they were racially motivated.

    2. Your problem is that I was in DC when the arrests went down. I read the local papers. Although the indictment alludes to a racial motive, both Paraday and Speed have adamantly denied it...even as late as Wednesday. I was also with a number of BATFE agents last week. Many of them do not believe the racial motivation either.

    Leave a comment:

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