Environmental activist extradited to U.S. on ecoterrorism charges

Published: Saturday, March 1, 2008 at 4:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 1, 2008 at 4:11 p.m.

PORTLAND, Ore. - An environmental activist who was serving time in a Canadian prison has been extradited to the United States to stand trial on ecoterrorism charges despite his arguments that he faced political persecution here.

Michael Scarpitti, Tre Arrow
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Michael Scarpitti, Tre Arrow

Radical environmentalist Tre Arrow, whose legal name is Michael Scarpitti, uses a megaphone to speak out from building ledge in Portland, Ore., July 13, 2000, while spending 11 days on the ledge protesting cutting of old growth trees in the Eagle Creek wilderness area. The well-known activist, who has been held in British Columbia while fighting extradition, is coming back to Portland to stand trial on conspiracy and arson charges.

Don Ryan/The Associated Press

Tre Arrow, formerly Michael James Scarpitti, was indicted by a U.S. grand jury in April 2004 on charges of taking part in the destruction of concrete and logging trucks in Oregon.

The indictment came after his arrest in British Columbia on local charges of shoplifting, assault and obstructing a police officer after a security guard caught him trying to steal a pair of bolt cutters.

Arrow, 34, pleaded guilty to the Canadian charges but fought extradition by seeking asylum, claiming he faced political persecution in the States and wouldn't get a fair trial.

Arrow is charged with conspiracy and arson, accused of participating in the destruction of several concrete-mixing trucks at Ross Island Sand and Gravel Company in Portland in April 2001. He is also accused of destroying logging trucks at Schoppert Logging Co. in Eagle Creek in June 2001.

He was brought to Portland by the U.S. Marshals Service and faces arraignment Monday in U.S. District Court, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

The British Columbia Supreme Court approved his extradition in July 2005, but Arrow objected, leading to an April 2006 order by the Canadian minister of justice that he surrender to U.S. authorities.

Three other defendants in the U.S. case Jacob Sherman, Jeremy Rosenbloom, and Angela Cesario pleaded guilty to arson charges and have completed service of their 41-month federal prison terms.

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