Woman indicted in arson investigation.
Byline: Bill Bishop The Register-Guard
A 14th defendant was indicted INDICTED, practice. When a man is accused by a bill of indictment preferred by a grand jury, he is said to be indicted. Wednesday in Eugene in Operation Backfire, the multistate federal investigation of arson by suspects who allegedly acted in the name of the Earth Liberation Front The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is the collective name for anonymous and autonomous individuals or groups that, according to the now defunct Earth Liberation Front Press Office, use "economic sabotage and guerrilla warfare to stop the exploitation and destruction of the and the Animal Liberation Front The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is a name used internationally by those who, through the means of direct action, oppose the use of animals as property or resources through capitalizing on the destruction and experimentation of animals. over a six-year period.
The defendant, 33-year-old Jennifer Lynn Kolar of Seattle, pleaded guilty earlier Wednesday in a separate case filed in Seattle in connection with a $7 million arson at the University of Washington in 2001.
A second woman, Lacey Phillabaum, a Spokane resident formerly of Eugene, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy, arson and use of a destructive device in the Washington case.
Both women were released without bail. Authorities told the Associated Press that the two turned themselves in and have cooperated with ongoing investigations.
Federal prosecutors said the two were part of a five-person team in the May 21, 2001, firebombing Firebombing is a bombing technique designed to damage a target, generally an urban area, through the use of fire from a incendiary device, rather than from the blast effect of large bombs. that destroyed the UW's Center for Urban Horticulture. The center worked on fast-growing hybrid poplars.
Briana Waters, 30, of Berkeley, Calif., has pleaded not guilty in the case and is scheduled for trial in May 2007. Authorities said the fifth person named in the case, Justin Solondz, 26, formerly of Jefferson County, Wash., is still at large.
Kolar also pleaded guilty to an attempted arson charge for a failed 1998 firebombing that damaged a Wray, Colo., gun club that organized a multistate turkey shoot.
Under the plea agreement, Kolar will serve five to seven years. Phillabaum faces a sentence of three to five years. She has not yet been indicted in the larger Backfire conspiracy. Sentencing for both is set for Jan. 5.
In the Backfire case, Kolar is charged with conspiring with the larger group and specifically with taking part in an arson that destroyed the Cavel West horse meat packing plant near Redmond in July 1997 and with damaging a BPA BPA British Paediatric Association. tower near Bend on Dec. 31, 1999.
No arraignment A criminal proceeding at which the defendant is officially called before a court of competent jurisdiction, informed of the offense charged in the complaint, information, indictment, or other charging document, and asked to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or as otherwise permitted date has been set in federal court in Eugene.
In a related matter, defense lawyers have agreed to wait another month to discover whether warrantless wiretaps were used to gather evidence against defendants in the Backfire conspiracy. No reason was given for the delay.
The case, the largest indictment of radical environmental activists ever, could be thrown out if the wiretaps exist and a court finds them unconstitutional. A prosecutor has said such wiretaps were not part of the investigation. Defense lawyers based their request on news media revelations that President Bush, citing the war on terrorism Terrorist acts and the threat of Terrorism have occupied the various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. government for many years. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, as amended by the usa patriot act , had authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. residents without showing a court any evidence that the residents might be tied to illegal activities. They cited statements by top administration counterterrorism coun·ter·ter·ror
Intended to prevent or counteract terrorism: counterterror measures; counterterror weapons.
Action or strategy intended to counteract or suppress terrorism. officials who described ELF and ALF ALF - Algebraic Logic Functional language as "one of today's most serious domestic terrorism threats."
Six of the defendants have entered plea deals and are facing sentencing Dec. 14. Four others await trial. Two are fugitives.