Watch out for the THIRD SNITCH
The mainstream press reported about two confidential witnesses and a cooperating co-defendant for quite a while. Then they dropped the third and claimed only two. Now they are talking about the third again.
The third is surfacing again. Be very, very careful, even if you think you are joking around with freinds. The other interesting thing is that discussion of the fugitive at-large 7th indictee has been dropped from the press. How does the govt "disappear" an undercover agent???
From the Eugene Register-Guard
"The suicide follows news that at least two participants in arson attacks are cooperating with federal officials in prosecuting six defendants, including Rodgers and Gerlach.
A third, unnamed informant surfaced during Gerlach's detention hearing."
Judge keeps eco-sabotage suspect in jail awaiting trial
By Bill Bishop
Published: Friday, December 23, 2005
Fake identification found Wednesday in the Portland apartment of alleged eco-saboteur Chelsea Dawn Gerlach convinced a federal judge that she may be planning to flee the country if released pending trial on arson charges that could bring her more than 30 years in prison.
After a 25-minute hearing Thursday in Eugene, the judge denied Gerlach's request for release pending trial.
Meanwhile, another person arrested in the sweeping investigation of radical environmentalist attacks committed suicide in an Arizona jail while awaiting transport to Washington to face federal arson charges.
William Courtney Rodgers, 40, who used the street name "Avalon," died of suffocation by plastic bag, according to a news release from the Coconino County Sheriff's Office. He had been charged with a 1998 fire in Olympia.
The suicide follows news that at least two participants in arson attacks are cooperating with federal officials in prosecuting six defendants, including Rodgers and Gerlach.
A third, unnamed informant surfaced during Gerlach's detention hearing.
Arguing that Gerlach is a danger to the community, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Engdall told a judge that the third informant has linked her to an Oct. 14, 2001, release and arson attack at a Bureau of Land Management horse and burro corral near Susanville, Calif.
Gerlach, 28, has been charged with arsons in Eugene and Clatskanie, and with damaging a transmission tower near Bend. Engdall said informants also have linked her to four other arsons, including a 1998 attack at a Vail, Colo., ski resort that did $12 million in damage and focused national attention on the eco-sabotage group Earth Liberation Front.
Gerlach's defense lawyer argued that the word of co-conspirators who confessed to having major roles in the crimes ought not weigh so heavily against Gerlach's risk to the community, in light of her lesser role and the probability that some of the informants who played larger roles are allowed to remain free.
"Look at who is accusing her and what their motives are," Weinerman told the judge.
However, U.S. Magistrate Tom Coffin focused on the fake identification documents found at Gerlach's apartment to question why he should not consider her a flight risk if she is released before trial.
Engdall submitted a copy of some of the documents, which include the driver's license of a Canadian citizen with Gerlach's photo imposed on it. Also found were a passport photo, a birth certificate, books about creating fake identification and dozens of "profile sheets" containing credit card, bank account and other private information taken from other people, Engdall said in court.
He told Coffin that he is considering filing identity theft charges against Gerlach and her boyfriend, Darren Thurston, who Engdall said is a Canadian living illegally in this country.
Weinerman asked Coffin to consider releasing Gerlach to a work-release center or under other conditions to thwart any possibility she might flee prosecution, but Coffin said the court's role is not to attempt to outwit defendants intent on fleeing. He ordered Gerlach held pending a trial tentatively scheduled for Feb. 28.
However, Coffin did allow Weinerman to request that Gerlach be taken off suicide watch at the Lane County Jail - a precaution taken by the federal marshals in the wake of Rodgers' suicide early Thursday. Inmates on suicide watch are checked frequently and are not allowed to have items of clothing or other materials that may be used to kill themselves.
Weinerman had complained that Gerlach also was being denied access to materials to assist in her legal defense.
He said Gerlach remains "upbeat" and eager to fight the charges. He denied Engdall's claim that Gerlach was "close" to Rodgers.
A search warrant in the case reveals that officials searched a bookstore Rodgers operated out of his home in Prescott, Ariz., where they found materials commonly used in crude firebombs, books and files about eco-sabotage, and encrypted data on computer discs.
Gerlach's stepfather, Terry Moore, said the legal process is "emotional" for Gerlach's family.
"I am confident in the system," Moore said. "The truth will be exposed."
Daniel McGowan of New York City appeared in court Thursday for the first time since his arrest in New York. Coffin set Feb. 28 for his trial on charges that he set fire to a lumber mill office in Glendale and a tree farm in Clatskanie.
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