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FBI arrests three in Ecoterror plot

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OldDog/NewTricks

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FBI arrests three in Ecoterror plot 'just days away' from launch

Three ecoterrorism suspects were just days away from carrying out bomb attacks on the Nimbus Dam in Northern California, as well as a US Forest Service tree farm and fish hatchery, when they were arrested last Friday, according to court papers.

Following a year-long investigation that reportedly involved the infiltration of an Earth Liberation Front cell by an informant, FBI agents apprehended Eric Taylor McDavid, 28, of Foresthill, CA; Zachary Jensen, 20, of Monroe, WA; and Lauren Weiner, 20, of Philadelphia, PA. The arrests were made in a K-Mart parking lot in Auburn, CA where the suspects allegedly shopped for bomb-making materials.

All three are in Sacramento County jail, without bail. They face federal charges that they conspired to commit arson. If convicted, they each face a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison with a maximum of a 20 year term and a $250,000 fine.

The FBI said that they watched the three casing the Nimbus Dam and the Placerville tree farm.

A "confidential source" working with the FBI infiltrated the ELF cell that included the three suspects and kept federal authorities apprised of the planning of the attacks, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday. The charges listed the US Forest Service facilities and the Nimbus Dam as planned targets for arson or bombings by the cell, as well as banks, trucks, a cellular phone tower, a mountain-top removal project in West Virginia and Communist Party offices.

The three allegedly believed "human causality" from their actions would be acceptable, according to the complaint.

The court papers linked McDavid as an "associate" of Ryan Lewis, who pled guilty last year of three arson counts in incidents claimed by the Earth Liberation Front. It was also noted that the three suspects were seen last week in the company of Eva Holland, who with her sister Lili pleaded guilty to a count of arson last year after they, Lewis and Jeremiah Colcleasure were arrested in connection with multiple ELF-connected firebomb attempts in the region about a year ago.

Authorities say that at this point the arrests made Friday are not in connection to the planting of any bombs.

Auburn (CA) Journal, January 17, "Documents allege links in ecoterror foiled plot"
http://www.auburnjournal.com/articles/2006/01/18/news/top_stories/03elf.txt

Los Angeles Times, January 14, "Three eco-terror suspects held in Northern California plot"
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-elf14jan14,0,6191300.story?coll=la-headlines-california

Sacramento Bee, January 13, "Three people with eco-terrorism group ties arrested in Auburn"
http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/14068647p-14899308c.html
 

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