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Six indicted in Northwest eco-terror attacks

December 8, 2005

KING5.com Staff

SEATTLE, WA- The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle says six people have been arrested for investigation of eco-terrorism in the Northwest.

All six people have been indicted by federal grand juries in Washington or Oregon.

The charges relate to four separate arsons in the Northwest, dating back to 1998, and the destruction of a Bonneville Power Administration tower at the Millennium.

The arrests were made Wednesday in New York, Virginia, Oregon and Arizona.

Stanislas Gregory Meyerhoff, 28, and Daniel Gerard McGowan, 31, were indicted in Oregon for the Jan. 2, 2001 arson at the Superior Lumber Co. in Glendale, Ore. and the May 21, 2001 arson at the Jefferson Poplar Farm in Clatskanie, Ore. The damages in each of those fires exceeded $1 million.

A building at the Clatskanie poplar farm was set ablaze by the Earth Liberation Front in this 2001 file photo. (Oregon State Police)

Kevin M. Tubbs, 36, and William C. Rodgers, 40, were indicted in Washington for the June 21, 1998 arson at the Animal and Plant and Health Inspection Services facility in Olympia. Damage from this arson was estimated at $1.2 million.

Sarah Kendall Harvey, 28, was indicted in Oregon for the Dec. 27, 1998 arson at the U.S. Forest Industries in Medford, Ore. That fire caused an estimated $500,000 in damage.

Chelsea Dawn Gerlach, 28, is charged with two counts related to the Dec. 30, 1999 destruction of a Bonneville Power Administration power transmission tower near Bend, Ore.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says in many of the fires, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and Earth Liberation Front (ELF) claimed responsibility.

The indictments and arrests are the result of a nine-year investigation by the FBI, ATF, the Eugene Police Dept., the Portland Police Bureau, the Oregon State Police, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Oregon Department of Justice and the Lane County Sheriff's Office.

In a separate case, authorities are still working to extradite Michael Scarpitti, who adopted the name Tre Arrow, from Canada. The FBI has claimed he was part of the Earth Liberation Front. He is charged with participating in the 2001 firebombing of logging and cement trucks in Oregon.  

"Charges have been brought in connection with a number of arsons that did a lot of property damage, so this is a big important milestone,” said asst. U.S. attorney Andrew Friedman.

The arrest may lead to solving several more cases like the destruction of the University of Washington Horticulture building in 2001.

In that case and many others around the region, the mysterious underground groups of the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front claimed responsibility.

 "According to their guidelines, people who commit crimes like this and say they are doing on behalf those groups are members of the groups in doing that," Friedman said.

Prosecutors say this would be largest ever arrest of suspected members of the ALF and ELF and now they'll work on these suspects to clear more crimes and get more suspects.


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