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To: Sub-Driver
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 13, 2004
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
Main Street Centre 804/819-5400
600 E. Main Street Fax 804/771-2316
Richmond, Virginia 23219-2447

Contact: Ann Helms
(804) 819-5400



NEWS RELEASE

Paul J. McNulty, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, announced today guilty pleas of three members of the Earth Liberation Front ("ELF") on charges of conspiracy to destroy by fire vehicles and property used in interstate commerce. Adam Blackwell, age 20, pled guilty on December 18, 2003; Aaron Linas, age 18, pled guilty on January 7, 2004; and John Wade, age 18, pled guilty this morning. Each faces a maximum sentence of five years' imprisonment when sentenced by United States District Judge James R. Spencer in April. These are the first convictions in the country of ELF members.

ELF is an international group of people who use violence rather than legal means to draw public attention to environmental causes they choose to pursue. The greater Richmond area, including Goochland and Henrico Counties, was hit with such acts of eco-terrorism between July and October 2002. In all, over $200,000 in damage was done to businesses located in these areas. Some examples of the damage include:

pouring sugar into the gas and hydraulic tanks of construction vehicles and breaking the vehicles’ electrical systems;
defacing the glass windows of McDonald's and Burger King restaurants with etching cream;
destruction of the electrical systems, doors, and windows of homes under construction in Goochland County;
attempts to destroy a crane and other construction vehicles being used at a construction site for the Short Pump Town Center;
permanently marking the words AELF@ and ASUV@ on the windows and bodies of 25 SUVs at the Universal Ford dealership on Broad Street;
destruction of a Jeep owned by Whitten Brothers Jeep Chrysler by smashing windows and denting the vehicle's body with a bat or pipe, and slashing the leather seats; and
destruction of SUV’s at residences in Henrico County.
In each of these incidents, the perpetrators proudly left messages claiming responsibility on behalf of ELF.


The three defendants, all of Henrico County, were students of Douglas Freeman High School in the Spring of 2002 and were members of the Friends of the Earth environmental club - a legitimate extra-curricular activity of the school. However, they soon developed a reputation for having extreme views on the environment. They particularly did not like SUVs, McDonald’s and Burger King restaurants, and suburban sprawl. They became dissatisfied with legitimate means of environmental activism and turned to the violent and criminal means of ELF.

Wade and Linas were both juveniles at the time of the offenses and are being tried as adults because they were nearly 18 at the time of the offenses and engaged in sophisticated offenses that indicated adult behavior. Both Wade and Linas have waived the juvenile certification procedure, believing that they would be certified as adults for their conduct.

Each defendant has agreed to pay full restitution of $204,021.86, to the parties as set out in the plea agreements made available today. These figures were determined by the actual damages caused by the actions of these three individuals.

Mr. McNulty stated:

Make no mistake about it, this behavior endangers human life. Such violent conduct is not an appropriate way to express discontent with environmental policy and will not be tolerated.

Also announcing the pleas are Donald Thompson, Special Agent-In-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Richmond Resident Office; Goochland County Sheriff James L. Agnew; and Henrico County Chief of Police Col. H. W. Stanley, Jr.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian Hood.

15 posted on 04/12/2004 5:32:47 PM PDT by HighWheeler (Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. - Marion Barry)
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To: HighWheeler
Here is the part that bothers me:

"The three defendants, all of Henrico County, were students of Douglas Freeman High School in the Spring of 2002 and were members of the Friends of the Earth environmental club - a legitimate extra-curricular activity of the school.

What a load of liberal crap these schools will endorse.

17 posted on 04/12/2004 5:35:55 PM PDT by HighWheeler (Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. - Marion Barry)
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To: HighWheeler
It's about time these Eco-Geek terrorists got prison time!! They are going to be tasty little morsels in the Big House.
19 posted on 04/12/2004 5:40:24 PM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion: The Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: HighWheeler
Each defendant has agreed to pay full restitution of $204,021.86

Let's see, at 6.00 dollars an hour, if they are lucky enough to get a job after 42 months "vacation" they should have this paid off in less than 17 years (if they don't eat, live inside a home, wear clothes, etc.). Why did the DA/Judge treat this as a lark? These are terrorist. period

76 posted on 04/13/2004 6:24:50 AM PDT by zip (Monthly donations are the easiest way to say Thanks for FR)
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