portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting united states

green scare | police / legal

Sacramento Prisoner Support's Statement on Zachary Jenson Turning Informant

Sacramento Prisoner Support
sacprisonersupport[at]riseup[dot]net
July 20, 2006 Alert
Zachary Jenson is a Government Informant
Sacramento Prisoner Support
sacprisonersupport[at]riseup[dot]net
July 20, 2006 Alert
Zachary Jenson is a Government Informant

Lauren Weiner, Zachary Jenson, and Eric McDavid were arrested in Auburn, CA on Jan 13, 2006 as part of the government's Green Scare campaign. They were charged with conspiracy to destroy property by means of fire or explosives, facing up to 20 years in federal prison for a crime that was never committed.

We at Sacramento Prisoner Support are extremely shocked and discouraged by Zachary Jenson's decision to 'take a deal' and inform on and effectively abandon his remaining co-defendant Eric McDavid. Zachary felt that he could no longer cope with waiting for trial at Sacramento County Jail and has decided to take the same plea agreement that Lauren Weiner took in May, which requires him to "cooperate fully with the government, and any other federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, as the government directs." His new charges will hold a maximum 5 year sentence, but Zachary will have to live with himself for the rest of his life knowing he abandoned and informed on a friend.

"Cooperation" is explained by the government as Zach being required to cooperate with any law enforcement agency about any issue (not just limited to his case); he must testify before any court or grand jury upon the government's request, submit to meetings, interviews, or investigations and answer every single question 'completely'. As per any plea bargain, if Zach fails to meet the strict conditions set out, he will again face his original sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

The full text of his plea agreement can be found here.

We at Sacramento Prisoner Support only support prisoners who do not assist the government in the prosecution of others. We are extremely surprised and pained by Zachary's decision, as he has repeatedly affirmed that he would never do anything to hurt his co-defendants or take a deal that would require him to become a government informant. His decision came seemingly out of nowhere as he has never expressed any interest in cooperation. Over the past 6 months of his pre-trial incarceration, we never hesitated to do everything possible to support him and maximized our efforts to make sure he felt connected to the outside world, through personally visiting him as often as the jail would allow, making sure he received letters and books, and much more.

As in accordance with our policy, which we continue to stand by, we will no longer support Zachary Jenson, and recommend that others participating in prisoner support do the same. We will now focus our energies on supporting the remaining prisoner from this case, Eric McDavid, who has maintained his innocence from the day he was arrested.

We strongly encourage supporters to write Eric, as he undoubtedly feels betrayed and very alone. As always, please refrain from writing him about his case and issues related to it, as pre-trial detainees mail can be used against them in court. Information on how to support Eric can be found at http://www.supporteric.org

Eric's mailing address at the Sacramento County Jail:
MCDAVID, ERIC X-2972521 4E 231A
Sacramento County Main Jail
651 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at sacprisonersupport[at]riseup[dot]net