Friday, January 27, 2006

"Anna," a paid informant for the FBI

Earth Liberation Front News

  • Sacramento, California, U.S. - Lauren Weiner, who was arrested on January 13th with two others accused of being part of an Earth Liberation Front cell with her, was granted bail on Thursday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory G. Hollows ordered Eric McDavid and Zachary Jenson, Lauren's co-defendants, be held without bail. However, Judge Hollows said he is willing to release Weiner to the custody of her mother on $1.2 million bail, pending a decision by prosecutors on whether to appeal Weiner's release.

    The three, who have all pled not guilty, are not accused of any crimes, only of planning attacks on U.S. Forest Service buildings, the Nimbus Dam on the American River near Sacramento, a cellular telephone tower, a power station, banks, trucks, mountain-top-removal projects in West Virginia, and Communist Party offices.

    Before being arrested, Lauren, Eric, and Zachary, were being constantly monitored by the FBI. An FBI operative known as Anna was a key member of the alleged cell, and provided housing for the three in a cabin which, unbeknownst to them, was rented by the FBI and was specially equipped with audio and video surveillance equipment. Anna also wore a concealed wire in order to record conversations with the three. Anna was paid $75,000 plus expenses by the FBI over the course of the two years during which she infiltrated various anarchist groups and events.

  • Eugene, Oregon, U.S. - Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin set the trial date for October 31st before Judge Anne Aiken for the eleven individuals who were indicted last week on charges relating to a series of Earth and Animal Liberation Front arsons between 1996 and 2001. Considering that the trial will not take place for quite a while, as it is likely to be delayed beyond October, Judge Coffin Set bail for Suzanne Savoie and Jonathan Paul. Savoie, who turned herself in last week, put up her 19 acres of property valued at $45,000 and her mother, who was in court, put up $5000. Jonathan Paul's $700,000 IRA account was frozen by the government in order to secure his release, and if he fails to return to court or comply with the conditions of his release, its contents will be seized by the government.

  • Newport, Oregon, U.S. - Michael T. MacMurdo, 50, was arrested on suspicion that he spray painted more than a dozen new cars and two buildings at Gold Motors in Newport early Friday morning. The letters "ELF" were painted on the buildings. Police believed that MacMurdo vandalized the dealership after they refused to sell him a car, and later called two Portland televisions stations and told them that he was affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and that he had "hit Gold Motors in Newport last night." Police could not establish any connection between MacMurdo and the ELF. They believed his actions were retaliatory in nature and not any kind of political statement. MacMurdo would not be the first person to claim that he acted on behalf of the ELF in order to disguise his true motives.