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Two More Charged in Oregon with "Ecoterrorist" Arson

Two More Charged in Oregon with "Ecoterrorist" Arson
U.S, Newswire

United States Attorney Karin J. Immergut announced today that a federal grand jury in Eugene, Oregon, has returned two separate 14-count indictments charging Nathan Fraser Block and Joyanna L. Zacher in the May 21, 2001, arson at Jefferson Poplar Farm in Clatskanie, Oregon. Block and Zacher join four other defendants already charged in connection with the crime.

Block, age 24, and Zacher, age 28, were arrested today by federal agents in Olympia, Washington, where both reside. The agents also executed a search warrant at the residence. Block and Zacher will appear in federal court in Tacoma, Washington, where government attorneys will seek their return to Eugene, Oregon, to face trial.
The indictments charge 12 counts of arson and one count of attempted arson involving farm buildings and trucks. Each count of arson and attempted arson carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison, up to a maximum of 20 years. The defendants are also charged with using and carrying a destructive device — one or more incendiary bombs — n relation to a crime of violence, which carries a minimum prison sentence of 30 years.

Defendants already charged in the Jefferson Poplar Farm case are Kevin Tubbs, Stanislas Gregory Meyerhoff, Chelsea Dawn Gerlach, and Daniel Gerard McGowan, who face trial in Eugene on October 31, 2006. Their indictment alleges the Jefferson Poplar Farm arson was part of a broad conspiracy from 1996 through 2001 involving numerous other arsons and attempted arsons in Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Colorado and California, in which elements of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and Animal Liberation Front (ALF) were allegedly responsible. Additional defendants already charged in the conspiracy are Joseph Dibee, Josephine Sunshine Overaker, Rebecca Rubin, Jonathan Mark Christopher Paul, Sarah Kendall Harvey, Susan Savoie, and Darren Todd Thurston.

U.S. Attorney Karin J. Immergut stated that, "We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute those responsible for acts of eco-terrorism in Oregon. I applaud the hard work and collaborative efforts of all the state, local and federal law enforcement agencies who have dedicated themselves to this case."

Copies of the indictments can be obtained by calling Public Information Officer Diane Peterson at 503-727-l066. An indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendants named in the indictments are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case, along with the associated cases, were jointly investigated by the FBI, ATF, Eugene Police Department, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Oregon State Police, and Lane County Sheriff's Office.

Prosecuting attorneys in the case are Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Engdall and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ray in Eugene, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen F. Peifer, in Portland.