Tre Arrow to plead guilty in firebombing case

Tre Arrow to plead guilty in firebombing case

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Tre Arrow, a radical environmentalist who was once one of the FBI's most-wanted fugitives, has announced on his Web site he has accepted a plea deal on federal arson and conspiracy charges.

Arrow had entered a not guilty plea. His attorney, Paul T. Loney, confirmed on Wednesday Arrow "is changing his plea" and a hearing date has been set for next Tuesday.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Portland did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Arrow, 34, who has legally changed his name from Michael Scarpitti, is charged in a 14-count federal indictment with helping to destroy concrete-mixing trucks in Portland in April 2001 and of firebombing logging trucks near Oregon's Mount Hood in June 2001.

Arrow became a fugitive after he was indicted, and was arrested in British Columbia in March 2004 on local shoplifting charges. He was extradited to the United States in February.

He said on his Web site he accepted a plea deal because he didn't want to take the risk of "spending the rest of my life in prison."

His decision to accept a deal comes as federal officials have been scoring high-profile victories against radical environmentalists who have carried out arson attacks around the West.

Earlier this month in Sacramento, environmental activist Eric McDavid was sentenced to nearly 20 years in federal prison for conspiring to destroy a Northern California dam, a genetics lab and other targets. McDavid was convicted in March for masterminding what FBI agents described as an eco-terrorist plot in the name of the Earth Liberation Front.

In Seattle, Briana Waters is awaiting a May 30 sentencing after she was convicted of arson in a 2001 attack on a plant research center.

Last year in Oregon 10 other radicals were given prison sentences of up to 13 years for arson and other crimes claimed by the Earth Liberation Front and by the Animal Liberation Front from 1996 to 2001.

On his Web site, Arrow insisted that in accepting a plea agreement "I am in no way selling my soul just to receive a sweet deal from the prosecution. By this I mean I am not giving them any information about anyone or any thing which could lead to others being prosecuted."

Arrow said he was offered "a deal I couldn't refuse, which takes into account the time I served in Canada."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)