[Ppnews] New indictments in ecoterrorism probe

Political Prisoner News PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Sat Mar 18 12:04:51 EST 2006


>Mar 16, 8:52 PM EST
>
>New indictments in ecoterrorism probe
>
>By JEFF BARNARD
>AP Environmental Writer
>
>PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Two more people were indicted Thursday on 
>charges they were part of a group calling itself "The Family" that 
>was responsible for a series of firebombings around the Northwest 
>from 1996 to 2001 claimed by the Earth Liberation Front and Animal 
>Liberation Front.
>
>The indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in Eugene brings to 
>13 the number of people who will go on trial Oct. 31 on 65 counts, 
>including conspiracy, arson, and use of a destructive device in a 
>crime of violence.
>
>The targets included U.S. Forest Service ranger stations in Oregon, 
>government and university research labs in Washington, a horse 
>slaughterhouse in Oregon, a tree farm in Oregon, a power 
>transmission tower in Oregon, a Colorado ski resort, lumber mills in 
>Oregon, and federal wild horse corrals in Oregon, Wyoming and 
>California. The fires caused more than $100 million in damages.
>
>Nathan F. Block, 24, and Joyanna L. Zacher, 28, were arrested in 
>Olympia, Wash., in February on charges they took part in the 
>firebombing of the Jefferson Poplar Farms tree farm in Clatskanie, 
>Ore., in 2001.
>
>They were indicted Thursday on new charges alleging they also took 
>part in the 2001 arson of 35 sport utility vehicles at Joe Romania 
>Chevrolet in Eugene, and were part of the larger conspiracy.
>
>The new charges mean Block and Zacher could be sentenced to life in 
>prison if convicted on all counts, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Peifer.
>
>Held without bail since their arrests last month, the two defendants 
>were expected to be arraigned sometime next week in U.S. District 
>Court in Eugene, Peifer said.
>
>"There's no doubt it's a continuing investigation," said Peifer. "I 
>can't say what the future holds."
>
>The government's case depends heavily on the testimony of at least 
>four unnamed informants, some of whom took part in the firebombings. 
>Some of the defendants are cooperating with the investigation. 
>Evidence includes five-gallon plastic buckets filled with a mix of 
>gasoline and diesel that didn't go off, homemade timers, and the 
>remains of firebombs that did ignite.
>
>Meanwhile, the former spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front, 
>Craig Rosebraugh, had been scheduled to appear before the grand jury 
>Thursday, but has now been scheduled to testify in August, the U.S. 
>Attorney's office said. He served as a spokesman for ELF, while 
>denying any direct contact with them, from 1997 through 2001.

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