Four indicted in ’98 firebombing in Vail

first_imgEach faces eight counts of arson. Each charge is punishable by five to 20 years in prison.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VAIL, Colo. – Four alleged environmental extremists have been indicted in a 1998 firebombing at the Vail ski resort that caused $12 million in damage – one of the most devastating ecoterrorism attacks in U.S. history. All four defendants had been named in an earlier indictment in Oregon charging them with conspiracy in a series of similar sabotage attacks in Oregon, California and Wyoming. Two are in custody in Oregon, and the other two were still at large. The Vail blaze “really is a subset of the larger conspiracy,” U.S. Attorney William Leone said. The blaze left a mountain lodge, two restaurants and a few other buildings and ski lifts in smoldering ruins. A shadowy underground group calling itself the Earth Liberation Front claimed responsibility and said it had targeted Vail because it was expanding into potential habitat of the lynx, an endangered cat. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsIn a message sent to a radio station, it warned: “We will be back if this greedy corporation continues to trespass into wild and unroaded areas.” Leone would not say whether the four indicted in Colorado were members of the ELF. The Oregon indictment, brought against 13 people and one unindicted co-conspirator, said the defendants considered themselves members of ELF or the Animal Liberation Front. Authorities say the ELF has caused tens of millions of dollars in damage across the country through sabotage. The FBI describes the group as one of the nation’s leading domestic terrorist organizations. Named in the indictment are Chelsea Gerlach, 29, of Portland, Ore; Stanislas Meyerhoff, 28, of Charlottesville, Va.; Josephine Sunshine Overaker, 31; and Rebecca J. Rubin, 33. Gerlach and Meyerhoff are in custody in Oregon. Authorities said the whereabouts of the others were unknown. last_img