Six people arrested for Northwest ecoterrorism attacks

Six people have been arrested in connection with ecoterrorism attacks in Washington and Oregon, including a $1.2 million arson in Olympia in 1998, federal prosecutors said today.

The arrests were made Wednesday in New York, Virginia, Oregon and Arizona, and each of the defendants has been indicted in Oregon or Washington, the U.S. attorney's office in Seattle said. Besides the Olympia arson, the attacks included three arsons in Oregon, including the destruction of a Bonneville Power Administration tower near Bend on the eve of the millennium.

Among those indicted and arrested were Kevin Tubbs, 36, and William Rodgers, 40, in connection with the June 21, 1998, arson at the Animal and Plant and Heath Inspection Services facility in Olympia. Damage from this arson was estimated at $1.2 million. Tubbs and Rodgers face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted.

The indictments and arrests were the result of a nine-year investigation of numerous arsons in the Northwest and other states. In many of the fires the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and Earth Liberation Front (ELF) claimed responsibility, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Also arrested were:

Chelsea Gerlach, 28, of Portland, who was charged with conspiring to destroy an energy facility and destruction of an energy facility in the attack on the transmission tower. She faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Stanislas Meyerhoff, 28, and Daniel McGowan, 31, who face up to life in prison if convicted of setting fires Jan. 2, 2001, at the Superior Lumber Co. in Glendale, Ore., and May 21, 2001, at the Jefferson Poplar Farm in Clatskanie, Ore. Damage from each fire exceeded $1 million.

Meyerhoff was arrested in Charlottesville, Va., where he was attending Piedmont Community College. McGowan was arrested in New York City.

Sarah Harvey, a 28-year-old student at Northern Arizona University, was arrested in Flagstaff after being charged with a Dec. 27, 1998, fire at U.S. Forest Industries in Medford, Ore. That fire caused an estimated $500,000 in damage.