A longtime activist and spokesperson for the most active militant environmental and animal rights movements in the U.S. has been arrested in Arizona for allegedly teaching others how to make an incendiary devise.
Rodney Adam Coronado, 39, is charged with one felony count of demonstrating the use of a destructive device, according to a federal indictment unsealed on February 22, 2006, in San Diego.
Coronado allegedly showed a group of people how to make the device during a talk in San Diego on August 1, 2003. The talk was held several hours after arsonists burned down a housing complex under construction in San Diego. The Earth Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the fire, which destroyed a five-story building and 100-foot-high crane. Losses were estimated at $50 million, making it the costliest act of eco-terrorism in American history.
Last year Coronado admitted in an interview that during the talk he demonstrated how he made a device to burn down an animal-testing lab at Michigan State University in 1992; he served three and a half years in prison for his role that arson.
Coronado is scheduled to be arraigned in Tucson and could be brought to San Diego within the next couple of weeks, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego. He faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison if convicted.
Coronado frequently speaks on behalf of the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front and was previously active in the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a Vancouver-based group founded to protect marine mammals through various direct actions, including sinking whaling ships. In December 2005, Coronado was found guilty in Arizona of conspiring to impede or injure and interfering with a U.S. Forest Service officer and damaging government property. He is awaiting sentencing for that incident.