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  • Four indicted in Vail fire case

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  • Email — Story to a Friend — — — — May 20, 2006
    Associated Press
    DENVER &
    8212; Four people have been indicted in a 1998 firebombing at the Vail ski resort that caused $12 million in damage &
    8212; one of the most devastating attacks of ecosabotage in U.S. history.
    All four suspects had been named in an earlier indictment in Oregon charging them with conspiracy in a series of similar attacks in Oregon, California and Wyoming. Two are in custody in Oregon and two are at large.
    "This prosecution of the Vail fire really is a subset of the larger conspiracy," U.S. Attorney William Leone said. He declined to say whether any other incidents were under investigation.
    The pre-dawn fire atop Vail left a lodge, two restaurants and a handful of other buildings and ski lifts in smoldering ruins. Vail Resorts has since rebuilt the lodge 11,000 feet above sea level, some 100 miles west of Denver.
    A shadowy underground group calling itself the Earth Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the fire. Leone declined to say whether the four indicted in Colorado were members of the ELF.
    The Oregon indictment named 11 alleged conspirators and one unindicted coconspirator. Greensprings resident Jonathan Paul, 40, and Applegate Valley resident Suzanne Savoie, 28, were among those charged. Two more suspects were later indicted.
    Named in the Colorado indictment are Chelsea Gerlach, 29, of Portland; Stanislas Meyerhoff, 28, of Charlottesville, Va.; Josephine Sunshine Overaker, 31; and Rebecca J. Rubin, 33.
    Gerlach and Meyerhoff are in custody in Oregon. Authorities said the whereabouts of the others are unknown.
    Each faces eight counts of arson. Each charge is punishable by five to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, U.S. attorney's spokesman Jeff Dorschner said.
    The decade-long federal investigation became public on Dec. 8 with the announcement that six suspects had been charged with attacks in Oregon and Washington dating back to 1998.

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