United States of America
I, the undersigned complainant being duly sworn state the following is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. On or about December 25, 2004 in Placer County, in the Eastern District of California defendant(s) did,
* agree, combine and conspire to commit arson
in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 844(n). I further state that I am a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that this complaint is based on the following facts:
* See attachment
Special Agent FBI
Sworn to before me, and subscribed in my presence
March 6, 2005 at Sacramento, California
Hon. Peter A. Nowinski
United States Magistrate Judge
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
I. BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE OF AGENT
I, Nasson Walker, Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Department of Justice, having been duly sworn, do depose and state the following:
1. I have been a Special Agent of the FBi since June 2004. I have been assigned to the Domestic Terrorism squad for the Sacramento Division since my arrival in Sacramento in November 2004, and have investigated primarily those matters involving environmental terrorism.
2. I am currently investigating a series of three interrelated arsons that are believed to have been committed by members of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) eco-terrorist group. The targets of each of these arson attacks were buildings under construction which, upon completion, were to be sold or rented in the local real estate market. I am aware that it is a violation of 18 U.S.C. 844(i) to use fire to damage or destroy a building used in or affect interstate commerce.
3. Based on my personal participation in this investigation, including my discussion with other investigating agents, other law enforcement agencies, and interviews with reliable witnesses, I am familiar with the facts and circumstances of this investigation. The information set forth herein, in this Affidavit, reflects my personal knowledge or has been provided to me by other law enforcement officers, investigative analysts and agents with whom I have spoken, or whose reports I have reviewed.
4. This affidavit is made in support of a warrant for the arrest of EVA ROSE HOLLAND, LILI MARIE HOLLAND, and JEREMIAH COLCLEASURE for violations of 18 U.S.C. Sections 844(n) (conspiracy to commit arson).
II. PROBABLE CAUSE
A. Background of ELF
5. The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is a recognized eco-terrorist group. A major concern of ELF is suburban real estate development. Environmental extremists under the Earth Liberation Front banner have been known to use arson and sabotage to attempt to stop development. Since 1997 estimates of damage inflicted by ELF run in excess of $100 million.
6. ELF adherents share a strong philosophical connection to the anarchist movement.
B. 12/27/2004 Attempted Arson in Lincoln, CA
7. On December 27, 2004, at the Verdera Models construction site located in Lincoln, CA incendiary devices were located in two houses under construction on Flors Court in the Twelve Bridges development. These devices were capable of causing extensive fire damage to the structures if they had successfully functioned. The Placer County Bomb Squad, utilizing their EOD (explosives ordinance disposal) robot, rendered these devices safe. The letters “ELF” were painted on the street of the cul-de-sac where these homes were located.
8. Graffiti was discovered on another house under construction in the same development. The graffiti found at the scene included notations such as “Enjoy the world as is – as long as you can”, “U will pay”, “Evasion”, “4 Q” and “Leave”. This house also sustained broken windows. Across the street from this house a tractor had been vandalized with the notation “Disarm or die”.
9. The four incendiary devices that were found at the scene are described as being a white plastic five-gallon bucket containing a gasoline/diesel mixture. on top of each of the white five-gallon buckets, there was affixed, a sixteen inch by sixteen inch square wooden truss assembly, to which was affixed, a white plastic manual kitchen timer with red electrical wires leading to a road flare. Attached to the dial of the kitchen timer were wooden matches, red tape with a 9-volt Duracel battery and connector. Attached to the striker end of the road flare were several paper matches taped with black electrical tape. Inside the taped matches were igniters. The ends of the electrical wires were cut and soldered. The wooden matches were glued to the dial of the manual kitchen timer.
C. 01/12/2005 Attempted Arson in Auburn, CA
10. On January 12, 2005, five incendiary devices were located in a commercial building under construction in Auburn, California that, upon completion, were to be rented as doctor’s offices. The devices were found at 440 Auburn Folsom Road, which is part of the Parkhill Professional Center.
11. The incendiary devices were found by construction workers who notified the Auburn Police Department. The Auburn Police Department, along with the Placer County Sheriffs Department EOD (explosives ordinance disposal), rendered the devices inoperable.
12. The incendiary devices found at the Auburn site are similar to the devices discovered in Lincoln, CA on December 27, 2004, at the Verdera at Twelve Bridges construction site.
13. The five incendiary devices that were found at the scene are described as being white and orange plastic five gallon buckets containing a gasoline/diesel mixture. On top of each of the plastic five gallon buckets, there were pieces of wooden framing material to which was affixed a white plastic manual kitchen timer with green electrical wires leading to a fifteen minute road flare. The green electrical wires were attached to the kitchen timer with yellow and black tape. Attached to the dial of the kitchen timer were wooden matches, a 9-volt Duracel battery, and electrical connectors. Attached to the striker end of the road flare were several paper matches taped with yellow, green, and black electrical tape. Inside the taped matches were igniters. The wooden matches were glued to the dial of the manual kitchen timer.
D. 01/15/2005 “Emma Goldman” Letter
14. On January 15, 2005, a letter claiming responsibility for “the actions take in Placer County (CA)” was received by several media outlets including the Auburn Journal, Roseville Press Tribune, Lincoln News Messenger, and Sacramento Bee. The letter mentions the “4 homes in JTS Communities Twelve Bridges housing development in the city of Lincoln and the Park Hill Office buildings under construction, in the city of Auburn,” both located in Placer County.
15. The return address of the letter indicated it was from “Emma Goldman.” Emma Goldman is a major figure in the history of anarchism. As previously indicated there is a strong connection between the ELF and the anarchist movement.
16. The rambling, two-page letter, which appears to have been computer generated, generally decries various aspects of modern life, including real-estate development, and promised that “there will be at least one or more actions every few weeks.”
17. The letter concludes, “With sincere love, ‘Agent Emma Goldman and the Crimethinc Senior Officers of the Earth Liberation Front’” and also references eight websites, including “www.crimethinc.com.” The latter website describes itself as an “ex-workers’ collective” and generally expresses an anarchistic philosophy.
E. 02/07/2005 Arson in Sutter Creek
18. On 02/07/2005, seven incendiary devices were found in five buildings of the Pinewoods Apartment Homes complex, located at 1 Pinewoods Lane, Sutter Creek, CA. These buildings were either completed or in the final stages of construction. Some of the renters were scheduled to move in that same day.
19. Graffiti found at the site included “ELF” and “We will win” in red paint.
20. Upon activation of the fire alarms at the apartment complex, the apartment manager contacted the Sutter Creek Fire Department. Sprinkler systems installed in the Buildings extinguished six of the seven devices. The fire caused by one device was extinguished by the fire department. Damage was estimated at $50,000 by the general contractor, J. R. Roberts.
21. The devices, all in various stages of being burned, appear to be constructed using materials consisting of, but not limited to, plastic milk jugs, flammable liquids, matches and sponges. This is unlike the construction of those devices found on December 27, 2004 in Lincoln, CA and on January 12, 2005 in Auburn, CA.
22. Sutter Creek is located approximately 45 miles southeast of Sacramento, approximately 55 miles from Auburn, and approximately 62 miles from Lincoln, CA, sites of recent attempted arsons within the Sacramento area.
23. Found at the seven burn sites, the devices consisted of plastic containers filled with gasoline. The containers ranged from 20-ounce to 64-ounce to one gallon plastic milk containers. Several of the containers were placed at the scene in black plastic bags. One of the incendiary devices had a blue colored latex glove as a wick. Found adjacent to one of the devices was a white plastic cap-like lid. Attached to several of the containers were the remains of burned green sponge/scouring pads and clear plastic one-inch diameter plastic containers. Also found at the site was graffiti saying, “We will win” and “ELF” spray-painted with red paint on the exterior of a metal storage building. Adjacent to the Sutter Creek site, tire impressions and shoe prints were found in the soil adjacent to the area of egress.
F. Interview of Jeremiah Colcleasure
24. On 03/04/2005, Jeremiah Colcleasure was interviewed and related the following information. On 12/24/2004, he attended a party at the home of Eva and Lili Holland at 2555 Newcastle Road, Newcastle, CA. Also in attendance was Ryan Daniel Lewis. Following the party, Colcleasure, Lewis, Evan Holland, and Lili Holland left the residence in Ryan Lewis’ green Subaru wagon. Colcleasure recalled that the interior of the vehicle smelled like fuel; to combat the odor, Lewis burned incense and Lili and Eva Holland sprayed deodorizer.
25. The four of them drove to the Vedera Models at Twelve Bridges development in Lincoln, CA, where they unloaded several 5-gallon buckets of fuel onto the street on Flores Court. Eva Holland then drove the car to another location while the remaining three set up incendiary devices inside two of the homes under construction. They used small, wooden trusses found at the location to support the devices on top of the buckets. Ryan Lewis set the devices on top of the trusses and wound the dial on the kitchen timers. Ryan Lewis then spilled pain on the street of the Flores Court cul-de-sac spelling, “ELF”. At a home under construction a short distance from the Flores Court cul-de-sac, Jeremiah Colcleasure spray-painted notations such as, “4Q!” and “quite destroying their homes.” He also broke one window.
G. Interview of Lili Holland
26. On 03/04/2005, Agents interviewed Lili Holland, who provided the following information. On 12/24/2004, she attended a party at her residence, 2555 Newcastle Road, Newcastle, CA with her sister, Eva Holland, Ryan Lewis, and Jeremiah Colcleasure. At approximately midnight, Ryan Lewis met with Lili and Evan HOlland and advised that he had obtained fuel and buckets and had devices to “set them off”. He also advised that they would be traveling to Lincoln, CA. Colcleasure later requested to join the other three, although Lili Holland advised that he did not initially understand the purpose of the trip.
27. The four of them drove to the Verdera Models at Twelve Bridges development under construction in Lincoln, CA in Ryan Lewis’ Subaru wagon. When they arrived, they first broke windows at a home under construction. All four participated in breaking these windows. They then drove to the Flores Court cul-de-sac, where Eva Holland dropped off the others before taking the car by herself to a meeting location near the entrance of the development. At Flores Court, Ryan Lewis unloaded two or three 5 gallon buckets of fuel with lids attached. Lewis carried them inside two homes at the location. He also carried a backpack, which contained components of incendiary devices. Colcleasure and Lewis set wooden trusses on top of the buckets; then Lewis planted the devices, which included a road flare and kitchen timer.
28. When they finished, Lewis spilled paint found at the construction site on the street of the cul-de-sac, spelling, “ELF”. They then walked to Eva Holland’s location and returned to the HOlland residence on 12/25/04 between 4:00am and 4:30am.
29. While traveling in Eva Holland’s car, approximately four or five days after their visit to Lincoln, CA, Eva Holland, Lili Holland, and Ryan Lewis had a discussion about their activities on 12/24-12/25/2004. Lewis expressed shock and disappointment that the incendiary device did not go off. He said that in spite of their failure, he hoped the action would still make a statement.
29. Based on the facts set forth in this Affidavit, I have probable cause to believe that Eva Holland, Lili Holland, and Jeremiah Colcleasure have violated Title 18 U.S.C. Sections 844(n) (Conspiracy to commit arson).
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 6th day of March, 2005.
Hon. Peter A. Nowinski
U.S. Magistrate Judge