December 8, 2005

Six Charged with Environmental Attacks

By Teresa Carson

PORTLAND, Oregon -- Six people believed to be radical environmental activists were indicted for crimes in Oregon and Washington including destroying power facilities and torching offices at a tree farm, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Karin Immergut, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon said in a statement the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front had claimed responsibility for some of the attacks, which dated back to 1998.

"These indictments show we will continue to pursue any acts of violence, including arson," Kent Robinson, Criminal Division chief in the U.S. Attorney's office said, adding that the investigation, involving several agencies, was continuing.

Stanislas Meyerhoff, 28, who was arrested in Virginia, and Daniel McGowan, 31, arrested in New York, were charged with arson at the offices of a lumber company in Glendale, Oregon in 2001 and at a poplar farm in Clatskanie, Oregon the same year.

At the Clatskanie site, where genetic research was carried out on trees, the attackers left the slogan "You cannot control what is wild." The Earth Liberation Front claimed responsibility.

More than $1 million of damage was caused in each case. The arson attacks carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Meyerhoff is also charged, along with Chelsea Gerlach, 28, with destroying an electrical transmission tower in Bend, Oregon in 1999.

Kevin Tubbs, 36, who was arrested in Oregon, and William Rodgers, 40, arrested in Arizona, face 20 years in prison for setting fire to the U.S. Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services offices in Olympia, Washington in 1998.

Sarah Harvey, 28, was arrested in Arizona and charged with arson at U.S. Forest Industries in Medford Oregon in 1998.