3/16/2006, 5:51 p.m. PT
By JEFF BARNARD
The Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Two more people were indicted Thursday on charges
they were part of a group calling itself "The Family" that was
responsible for a series of firebombings around the Northwest from 1996
to 2001 claimed by the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front.
The indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in Eugene brings to 13
the number of people who will go on trial Oct. 31 on 65 counts,
including conspiracy, arson, and use of a destructive device in a crime
The targets included U.S. Forest Service ranger stations in Oregon,
government and university research labs in Washington, a horse
slaughterhouse in Oregon, a tree farm in Oregon, a power transmission
tower in Oregon, a Colorado ski resort, lumber mills in Oregon, and
federal wild horse corrals in Oregon, Wyoming and California. The fires
caused more than $100 million in damages.
Nathan F. Block, 24, and Joyanna L. Zacher, 28, were arrested in
Olympia, Wash., in February on charges they took part in the firebombing
of the Jefferson Poplar Farms tree farm in Clatskanie, Ore., in 2001.
They were indicted Thursday on new charges alleging they also took part
in the 2001 arson of 35 sport utility vehicles at Joe Romania Chevrolet
in Eugene, and were part of the larger conspiracy.
The new charges mean Block and Zacher could be sentenced to life in
prison if convicted on all counts, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen
Held without bail since their arrests last month, the two defendants
were expected to be arraigned sometime next week in U.S. District Court
in Eugene, Peifer said.
"There’s no doubt it’s a continuing investigation," said Peifer. "I
can’t say what the future holds."
The government’s case depends heavily on the testimony of at least four
unnamed informants, some of whom took part in the firebombings. Some of
the defendants are cooperating with the investigation. Evidence includes
five-gallon plastic buckets filled with a mix of gasoline and diesel
that didn’t go off, homemade timers, and the remains of firebombs that
Meanwhile, the former spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front, Craig
Rosebraugh, had been scheduled to appear before the grand jury Thursday,
but has now been scheduled to testify in August, the U.S. Attorney’s
office said. He served as a spokesman for ELF, while denying any direct
contact with them, from 1997 through 2001.