SACRAMENTO, Calif.United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced that ERIC McDAVID, 29, of Foresthill, Calif., was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. to 235 months in prison and 36 months supervised release for conspiracy to damage or destroy property by fire and an explosive. McDAVID was convicted by a federal jury on March 6, 2008.
McDAVID’s two co-conspirators previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy and agreed to cooperate with the government in the prosecution of McDAVID. ZACHARY JENSON and LAUREN WEINER entered guilty pleas on July 19, 2006 and May 30, 2006, respectively. Their sentencing dates are August 7, 2008 for JENSON and May 15, 2008 for WEINER.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by various federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies comprising the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), as well as assistance from the United States Forest Service and the Calif. Department of Fire and Forestry.
‘Today’s severe punishment of nearly 20 years in federal prison should serve as a cautionary tale to those who would conspire to commit life-threatening acts in the name of their extremist views. The FBI and the numerous agencies responsible for this investigation are to be applauded for their outstanding work,’ stated United States Attorney Scott.
According to Assistant United States Attorneys R. Steven Lapham and Ellen V. Endrizzi, who prosecuted the case, McDAVID, JENSON, and WEINER conspired between June 2005 and January 13, 2006 to maliciously damage or destroy, or attempt to do so, by fire or an explosive, government- and privately-owned commercial property. Targets included the United States Forest Service Institute of Forest Genetics, the Nimbus Dam and Fish Hatchery, cellular telephone towers, and electric power stations.
In furtherance of the conspiracy, McDAVID, JENSON, and WEINER took a number of substantial steps to accomplish the object of the conspiracy. During the weekend of November 1820, 2005, McDAVID, JENSON, and WEINER met, in the presence of a confidential source, at McDAVID’s parents’ residence in Foresthill and conducted a planning meeting during which they identified potential targets for destruction. Following that meeting, WEINER ordered a book, Poor Man’s James Bond, which contains recipes and instructions for creating explosive devices. That book was later seized from the defendants’ rented cabin in Dutch Flat, California.
As part of their plan, the defendants reunited in January 2006 at the cabin to begin their bombing campaign. On January 10, 2006, McDAVID, JENSON, and WEINER, in the presence of a confidential source, visited the Nimbus Dam and Nimbus Fish Hatchery, and later that day visited the Institute of Forest Genetics, to perform reconnaissance on those prospective targets for destruction. McDAVID drew a map of the facilities, noting the location of surveillance cameras. On January 11, 2006, all of the defendants traveled to a store in Sacramento to purchase ingredients necessary for the creation of an explosive device, including three bottles of bleach, a hot-plate, glassware, a gasoline can, a car battery, potassium chloride, and three jars of petroleum jelly. Finally, on January 12, 2006, the defendants purchased additional items, including gunpowder and trick party candles, to construct a fuse. On that same day, the defendants began mixing the ingredients they had purchased in accordance with a recipe that they thought would lead to the creation of an explosive.
McDAVID, JENSON, and WEINER were arrested on January 13, 2006 outside a retail store in Auburn, California, shortly after they had purchased additional items necessary for the creation of an explosive.
The court denied McDAVID’s motion for release on bail pending appeal.