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01-26-06, 10:00 AM #1
3 Indicted in Calif. on Ecoterror Charges
Three Indicted in California on Ecoterrorism Charges
By DON THOMPSON
The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Three environmental activists were cooking up plastic explosives and had planned to test a device the day they were arrested, federal prosecutors alleged Wednesday as they indicted them.
The three face five to 20 years in federal prison if they are convicted of conspiring to use fire or explosives to damage property.
The suspects planned assaults this spring in the name of the Earth Liberation Front, a "loosey-goosey, sort of mist-of-the-fog kind of an organization" of environmental activists, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said.
Eric McDavid, 28, Zachary Jensen, 20, and Lauren Weiner, 20, remain in jail. They could enter a plea at their arraignment Thursday.
Authorities said they were unknowingly working with an undercover FBI informant and living in a cabin rented by the FBI and wired for surveillance.
Their attempt to boil bleach into crystals ended when the glassware broke, prosecutors allege, and they were buying more when they were arrested Jan. 13 outside a Kmart in the Sierra foothills.
Three days before their arrests, the three scouted a dam and fish hatchery on the American River near Sacramento and toured McDavid's top target, the indictment says: the U.S. Forest Service's Institute of Forest Genetics, east of Sacramento.
McDavid, of Foresthill, Calif., had drawn a map of the lab that was recovered after his arrest, the FBI alleges.
McDavid's attorney, Mark Reichel, said the trio's activities never became dangerous. "It looks like some talk and a little mischief, if the indictment is true," he said.
The attorney for Jensen, of Monroe, Wash., declined to comment. The attorney for Weiner, of Philadelphia, did not immediately return telephone messages.
Groups like the Earth Liberation Front are the FBI's No. 2 priority behind international terrorism. The three are not known to be connected to 11 alleged ecoterrorists indicted in Oregon last week, Scott said.
01-26-06, 10:58 AM #2
Terrorism is terrorism, no matter what the cause. Playing with home made explosives is not only dangerous but extremely stupid. How do you relate explosives to bunny-hugging? The chemicals used are hazardous to the environment to begin with.Servamus et Servimus........"To Serve and Protect"
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