Sacramento, Calif. - United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced today that ZACHARY JENSON, 20, of the Seattle, Washington area, entered a plea of guilty, late yesterday, to one count of conspiracy in connection with an eco-terrorist plot to blow up commercial and governmental facilities in the Sacramento, California region, including the United States Forest Service Institute of Forest Genetics located in Placerville, California. The group planned to take credit for their actions on behalf of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF).
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 California Department of Fire and Forestry.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, JENSON acknowledged that the federal terrorism enhancement applies to his crime, which provides for increased penalties for crimes that involve or are intended to promote a federal crime of terrorism. Congress has defined a federal crime of terrorism to include those that involve the use of explosives that are ‟calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct.’
According to Assistant United States Attorneys R. Steven Lapham and Ellen V. Endrizzi, who are prosecuting the case, under the terms of the plea agreement, JENSON agreed to cooperate with the government’s further investigation and prosecution of the case, including testifying against the remaining co-defendant, ERIC McDAVID. A third co-conspirator LAUREN WEINER pled guilty on May 30, 2006.
JENSON is scheduled to be sentenced on October 3, 2006, by United States District Judge Morrison C. England. A status conference is set for Friday, July 21, to determine JENSON’s custody status while awaiting sentencing. The remaining co-defendant, ERIC McDAVID is in custody, and his next court appearance is scheduled for October 3, 2006. No trial date has been set.