Six Arrested in Northwest Ecoterror Investigation
Posted: December 12, 2005
Six suspected members of environmental and animal rights extremist movements have been arrested in connection with four arsons and the toppling of an electrical transmission tower in the Pacific Northwest.
Federal agents arrested the suspects in a series of coordinated raids in New York, Virginia, Oregon and Arizona on December 8, 2005. Each of the suspects has been indicted in Oregon or Washington for attacks dating as far back as 1998, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.
The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and Animal Liberation Front (ALF) claimed responsibility for most of the attacks, according to the Department of Justice.
Two of the suspects, Kevin M. Tubbs, 36, arrested in Springfield, Oregon, and William C. Rodgers, 40, arrested in Prescott, Arizona, are charged in connection with a $1.2 million arson at a U.S. Department of Agriculture Building in Olympia, Washington, in June 1998. ELF and ALF claimed joint responsibility for the attack in a communiqué which stated that “the genocide against mother earth and her children must stop!”
Two other suspects, Stanislas G. Meyerhoff, 28, arrested in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Daniel G. McGowan, 31, arrested in New York City, face charges related to a January 2001 fire at a lumber company in Glendale, Oregon, which caused over $1 million in damage. In its communiqué claiming responsibility for the attack, ELF said, “we hope to see an escalation in tactics against capitalism and industry.”
Meyerhoff and McGowan are also charged for their alleged role in a May 2001 fire at the Jefferson Poplar Farm in Clatskanie, Oregon. The fire in Clatskanie, which destroyed two large storage buildings and over a dozen vehicles, caused over $1 million in damage. The slogan “You cannot control what is wild” and “ELF” were painted on a shed at the scene. In its claim of responsibility, ELF threatened that “wild fires of outrage will continue to blaze.”
McGowan (a.k.a. Jamie Moran) reportedly is the founder the “RNC Not Welcome” Web site, which was created to help organize protests against the Republican National Convention in New York City in 2004. McGowan is a self-described anarchist and outspoken supporter of Jeffrey “Free” Luers, currently serving 22 years in prison for his role in a 2000 arson attack that destroyed 36 SUVs in Eugene, Oregon.
A fifth suspect, Sarah Kendall Harvey, 28, was arrested in Flagstaff, Arizona. She is charged with one count of attempted arson and one count of arson in connection with a December 1998 fire at U.S. Forest Industries in Medford, Oregon, which caused an estimated $500,000 in damage. In its claim of responsibility, ELF said the attack was in “retribution for all the wild forests and animals lost to feed the wallets of [the] greedy.”
The last suspect, Chelsea Dawn Gerlach, 28, arrested in Portland, Oregon, is charged with knocking down an 80-foot transmission tower outside Bend in December 1999. Gerlach also is named in a federal arson complaint involving a 1999 fire at Childers Meat Company in Eugene, Oregon, that caused over $1 million in damage. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Eugene Police Department, Portland Police Bureau, Oregon State Police, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Oregon Department of Justice and the Lane County Sheriff’s Office participated in the nine-year investigation, which is continuing.