On Tuesday February 8 the FBI arrested Newcastle resident Ryan Daniel Lewis in connection with a recent ELF action. Lewis is being charged with arson and attempted arson of a commercial building.
Since the end of December three ELF actions have occurred in the Sacramento area. Two attempted arsons at developments in Auburn and Lincoln were claimed by an ELF communiqué sent to the Auburn Journal and the Sacramento Bee. A third successful arson at an apartment complex in Sutter Creek was discovered with graffiti that said "WE WILL WIN-ELF".
Lewis is charged only with the attempted arson in Auburn and the FBI continues to investigate all three incidences. Lewis was arraigned Thursday and appointed a federal public defender. The FBI has yet to reveal what evidence, if any, it has against Lewis. The criminal complaint against him and the search warrant were sealed in US District court in Sacramento.
Lewis's case is being prosecuted by US Attorney McGregor Scott. Scott, who once commanded an infantry unit on the streets of LA during the 1992 riots, has made a name for himself as District Attorney of Shasta County and a member of the board of directors of the California District Attorneys Association. Scott made news last May when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee asking them to expand the scope of 18 U.S.C. Section 43 (covers "animal enterprise terrorism") to ban the legal activities of groups like Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty.
The FBI investigation into the ELF actions is ongoing. The US Attorney has also convened a grand jury to investigate the recent ELF actions. They have begun visiting area anarchists, suponeaing witnesses, and will hear testimony on February 24th. (Whether or not this is the first day, we are unsure). These procedings are not open to the public.
Lewis is currently being held without bail in the Sacramento County Main Jail. He is reportedly being treated well and is in good spirits. He has a bail hearing on Thursday February 17 at 2pm at the Federal Court House in Sacramento at 501 I Street (on the 8th floor). At this hearing it will be determined whether or not he must remained incarcerated until his trial.
You can support Ryan Lewis by attending this hearing.
In the case that he is not released on bail tomorrow, please send letters of support to:
Lewis, Ryan X-4101338 5E225B
Sacramento County Main Jail
651 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
If you are from the Sacramento area and have been visited by the FBI about this, please get in contact. You are not alone and there are resources available to help you and people willing to support you. ALSO! If you are visited by the FBI it is important to not talk to them! Their job is to investigate. They are trying to put you or your friends behind bars. You legally do not have to speak with them or answer their questions. Simply state that you wish to speak with your attorney (even if you don't have one) or that you will have your attorney contact them. Take down their names and the names of their superiors and any other information you can. For more advice on dealing with the FBI, please read "If an Agent Knocks" which is available online on countless websites, including:
For more information on Grand Jouries, please read the infoshop.org guide to grand jury investigations at: http://www.infoshop.org/breakingglasspress/GrandJuries.PDF