Federal officials have announced the most extensive bust of eco-saboteurs in U.S. history, charging seven people with arsons and vandalism that plagued the Pacific Northwest for nearly three years, The Oregonian reports. Those arrested include a Portland woman accused of taking part in the nation’s only act of sabotage on the eve of the 2000 millennium celebration, the toppling of a high-voltage tower near Bend. Agents took six others into custody from Oregon to New York on Wednesday, tying them to nearly $5 million in arson and vandalism damage from 1998 to 2001.
The crimes turned Oregon into the epicenter of an underground assault on timber companies, research scientists, and meat processors. Federal agents say the saboteurs, operating in small units called cells, have burned, vandalized, and sometimes bombed enterprises that they accuse of profiting from the destruction of the planet and its living creatures. Members of the Oregon FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force worked the cases for the better part of nine years. “These indictments prove that we’re going to pursue these arsons until we solve them,” said a federal prosecutor in Portland.