June 4, 2007
Ecosaboteurs in Northwestern US Trip Over Each Other to Snitch
Four activists who have confessed to a series of arsons in the northwest US on behalf of animals and the environment have been sentenced to 3 to 13 years, each agreeing to testify against others and provide evidence that will undoubtedly be used to prosecute and imprison their more courageous former comrades. Darren Thurston was sentenced Tuesday to 37 months in prison, joining Stan Meyerhoff, Kevin Tubbs and Chelsea Gerlach in a rush to confess and implicate others in pathetic attempts to lessen their own time behind bars.
Asst. US Atty Stephen Peiffer agreed that Thurston's sentence, although appearing low, was fair in a case where the defendant had cooperated so extensively. He said that Thurston was offered a substantial reduction for his minor role, and because he was only interested in releasing horses and being there for [his girlfriend] Gerlach. He said that Thurston had provided information about a "whole array of activities and other people", beyond what was called for in the current investigation.
To gain sympathy by the judge, both prosecutors and defense lawyers present at sentencing expressed fear of the consequences the defendants will face in prison as known snitches. U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken acknowledged testimony about the violence and sexual abuse that befall "snitches" in prison. Aiken said she will write letters to prison officials to attempt to ensure their safety. Paul Solomon, director of men's services at a local Eugene post-incarceration support service provider, stated that "snitches" are at the bottom of the pecking order in prison, second only to child molesters.
Meyerhoff, Tubbs and Gerlach were sentenced last week, with Meyerhoff receiving 13 years, Tubbs 12 years and 7 months, and Gerlach 9 years in prison. All had pled guilty and agreed to testify against their former comrades, in addition to providing additional evidence. All apologized to those the companies who continue to destroy the environment and exploit and abuse animals. Another snitch, Jacob Ferguson, wore a hidden wire six years after the arsons in order to implicate others involved; he has never served any jail time and reportedly spends his days as a drug addict and part time college student in Eugene.
Press Officer Jerry Vlasak stated: "These cowardly former warriors leave us all with a bad taste in our mouth; they have betrayed the struggle against exploitation of the earth and her inhabitants, and provided comfort to the abusers. Their self-serving fear of incarceration is a serious attempt to demoralize others who continue the fight, and an embarrassment to themselves and the movement. Destruction of ecosystems and rampant mass murder of animals continues while they grovel and beg for mercy."