Recent Green Scare prisoner for 2001 UW E.L.F. arson – Justin Solondz

From The Olympian.Dec 20:

Ex-Evergreen student guilty for role in UW arson

Justin Solondz, a former student at The Evergreen State College, pleaded guilty Tuesday to arson and conspiracy charges for helping to burn down the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture in 2001.
He faces a seven-year prison term as part of a deal with prosecutors when he is sentenced March 16. Prosecutors say Solondz built the firebombs that started the blaze in 2001 in Seattle. Solondz was arrested in Chicago last summer following his expulsion from China, where he had been serving a prison sentence on drug charges.
The fire, which resulted in $6 million of damage, was part of a string of 17 arsons across the West by radical environmental groups, the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front. Fourteen other people have been convicted of crimes related to the fires. “This defendant and his group damaged the environment far more than their activism protected it,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in a statement. “Not only did the UW blaze destroy endangered plants and important research, it posed a very real danger to the firefighters dedicated to fighting it.”
Solondz’s plea comes about six months after fellow former Evergreen student Briana Waters pleaded guilty June 14 her role in the arson. Waters, who was living in Oakland, Calif., pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement to conspiracy, arson and possession of an unregistered destructive device during a crime of violence. Waters admitted in U.S. District Court in Tacoma that a co-conspirator built the bombs used in the arson at Waters’ Olympia home, that she rented a car that was used to transport the bombs to the University of Washington and that she served as a lookout, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’ s Office for the Western District of Washington.
Waters was convicted in Tacoma in 2008 in connection with the arson and sentenced to six years in prison, but that conviction was overturned in late 2010 after an appeals court ruled that documents containing anarchist materials were improperly admitted as evidence. Waters served two years and seven months in prison before she was released following that ruling in October 2010, according to U.S. Attorney’ s Office spokeswoman Emily Langlie.
Prosecutors had alleged during Waters’ 2008 trial that she was a member of a cell of the Animal Liberation Front known as “The Family” whose members set or attempted to set at least 17 fires between 1996 and 2001 throughout the Northwest and in Colorado. Solondz also was accused of being part of “The Family.” The group wanted to destroy corporate and government operations they thought were harming the environment and animals, and prosecutors said members targeted the UW research center under the mistaken belief that poplar trees were being genetically engineered there.
The UW center was rebuilt at a cost of $7 million and reopened three years later. Two other defendants each have pleaded guilty to the arson and were sentenced to prison.
A third, William C. Rodgers, identified in charging documents as the leader of the cell, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle in connection with another arson and committed suicide Dec. 22, 2005, while being held in the Coconino County Jail in Prescott, Ariz. Waters and the other defendants in the UW arson share a restitution obligation of $6,092,649, according to the U.S. Attorney’ s Office.
Staff writer Jeremy Pawloski contributed to this report.
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green houses burning

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