[Ppnews] Five accused of arsons in Michigan

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Mar 11 15:25:02 EDT 2008


Urgent ELP! Bulletin (11th of March 2008)

Dear friends

News is coming in of a number of raids/arrests involving American 
environmentalists.

The raids appear to be linked to an arson at Michigan State 
University in 1999 and another arson at a logging site in 2000.  Both 
arsons where claimed at the time by the Earth Liberation Front.

Well known American Earth First! activist, Frank Ambrose, (who has 
been wrongfully accused of ELF actions in the past) told ELP he has 
been charged on three counts of arson and conspiracy to commit 
arson.  Other people listed in the indictment include Marie Mason, 
Aren Berthwick, Stephanie Sultz, and an "un-named participant known 
to the grand jury."

At this moment in time ELP is unaware of what has happened to Aren 
Berthwick or Stephanie Sultz, but we are aware that Maria Mason has 
also been arrested and is currently in custody in Ohio and is 
expected to be extradited to Michigan.

If anyone knows anything about Aren or Stephanie please contact ELP 
as soon as possible.

ELP will keep you up to date with this news as we get it.  In the 
meantime please send letters of support to:

MARIE MASON #134001
Butler County Sheriff's Office & Correctional Complex
705 Hanover Street
Hamilton, Ohio 45011
USA

++++++++++++

Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network
BM Box 2407
London
WC1N 3XX
England
<http://www.spiritoffreedom.org.uk>www.spiritoffreedom.org.uk

*************************************************************************
http://www.streetinsider.com/Press+Releases/Michigan+State+University+Arsonists+Charged/3449079.html

March 11, 2008 2:52 PM EDT

Indictment alleges the arsons were committed on behalf of 'Earth 
Liberation Front'

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the 
grounds of Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, Michigan, 
United States Attorney Charles R. Gross; Federal Bureau of 
Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena; MSU 
President Lou Anna K. Simon; and MSU Police Department Chief James H. 
Dunlap, announced the unsealing today of a 4-count felony Indictment 
charging four defendants with conspiracy to commit arson, aggravated 
arson, and arson in connection with the December 31, 1999, arson of 
Agriculture Hall on the main campus of MSU and the January 1, 2000, 
arson of commercial logging equipment near Mesick, Michigan.

The defendants are Marie Jeanette Mason, 46, of Cincinnati, Ohio; 
Frank Brian Ambrose, 33, of Detroit, Michigan; Aren Bernard 
Burthwick, 27, of Detroit, Michigan; and Stephanie Lynne Fultz, 27, 
of Detroit, Michigan.

According to the Indictment, the four conspired to commit the MSU 
arson in order to destroy federally-funded plant genetic research 
being conducted by university employees, and Mason and Ambrose then 
carried out the arson. The Indictment alleges that the four also 
conspired to destroy commercial logging equipment in order to 
sabotage lumbering activity, and that all four Defendants then 
carried out the arson.

The Indictment alleges that both actions were committed on behalf of 
the "Earth Liberation Front (ELF)," a loosely-organized movement of 
environmental extremists with a history of destroying property, often 
by arson, in order to intimidate and coerce communities, businesses, 
and governments into abandoning activities that ELF adherents 
consider harmful to the environment.

"The Indictment we are announcing today is a testament to the 
perseverance, dedication and hard work of law enforcement 
professionals at both the state and federal level," said United 
States Attorney Gross.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Arena added that "This investigation has 
been ongoing for almost a decade and it should be a reminder to all 
that the FBI does not allow the passage of time to thwart our ability 
to apply our full resources to a case. In particular, domestic 
terrorism is a top priority of the FBI and we will continue to 
aggressively investigate and pursue prosecution of all such matters. 
We would also like to thank the MSU Police Department for its 
cooperation throughout this investigation."

Speaking for the University, MSU President Simon observed that "This 
was more than an attack on a building and the destruction of valuable 
property. It was an assault on the core value of free and open 
inquiry at a research university. We always must be open to ideas 
that challenge our own, but what we must never allow are disruptions 
meant to shut down the open marketplace of ideas."

Commenting on the MSU Police Department's significant role in the 
investigation, Chief Dunlap explained "This was a significant act of 
domestic terrorism which caused more than a million dollars in damage 
to facilities and loss of research records. As a result, the 
University dedicated an unprecedented amount of resources and 
personnel to investigate this crime, and the Michigan State 
University Police Department appreciates the cooperation of both the 
FBI and the United States Attorney's Office in the joint 
investigation of this case and the resulting Federal Indictment."

The case is being prosecuted for the United States by Assistant 
United States Attorney Hagen W. Frank.

The charges in an Indictment are only allegations of criminal 
conduct, and the Defendants are presumed innocent until their guilt 
is established in court by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

<http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/miw>www.usdoj.gov/usao/miw

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice




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