The New Salem: R@dical Snitch Hunts

(A)narchists and r@dicals are notoriously paranoid, @ssaultive, destructive, and their own worst enemies–a trait so well known among law enforcement agencies, it is used as a ‘tell’ when they assess a suspect. It suits their purpose and becomes part of the strategy deployed by police, right or wrong. Paranoia makes communications difficult and organizing almost impossible. It attracts the mentally imbalanced who recognize kindred spirits. It keeps the targets on the defensive. R@dicals are reduced to using 2 tin cans and a string for conversations once held openly.  Technology becomes their enemy. They become their own oppressors, their own nemesis. Masking up, they draw attention and derision to themselves in public while providing an appearance which encourages a presumption of guilt. Their assaults on photojournalists do not dispel the presumption. Like a chapter from The Art Of War, the police need do  nothing as the enemy fights and destroys itself, terrifies the public, incurs the  wrath of its victims, hardens official sanctions against it. Instead of appearing as deft Robin Hoods, these violent self described (A)narchists give every impression of being the self-aggrandizing manipulative street thugs they are.

Like some nightmarish Jekyll and Hyde character, the very elements who protest the violent culture we’ve become help perpetuate it, their bi-polar dystopi@n fant@sies complete, their insistence on ‘good’ vs. ‘bad’ violence paradoxical.

So why would a conscientious feckless young college student, et al, dabble in the sophistry of this lifestyle (A)narchy? In part, it has to do with the Punk and Hip Hop scene which has been grafted onto the polemics in an appeal to the barely pubescent and naive.

Some may recall the recent Pacific NW story of a young (A)colyte, Leah Plante, a Portland, OR federal grand jury resister who became the all too brief poster child of NW r@dicals. Her story is instructive as she quickly became a persona non-grata to her erstwhile f@ns when she began to fail under the weight of torture in solitary confinement for little more than her casual association with area (A)narchists and her refusal, at least initially, to answer speculative questions about them.

Leah had admitted she had emotional/psychological issues and was not in the best of mental health or able to resist the solitary confinement to which her federal tormentors deliberately exposed this young woman in a successful effort to break her.

Leah was released, possibly after a week of this abuse which included the promise she would be kept in isolation for the indefinite duration of her incarcerations. Leah broke down. Her f@natical supporters turned on and vilified her. She remains unavailable to the public today, fearing for her sanity and safety. This is the prospect for anyone who takes up with these f@ir weatherman ‘friends’ who will turn on each other in a heartbeat.

Leah Plante
Leah Plante

The more recent story of the John Towery lawsuit in Washington State alleging damages from his spying on area r@dicals, currying trust and confidences from them, is as instructive. Mr. Towery, in fact, was working with the U.S. Military to provide information/surveillance in targeting a group perceived to be a threat to military operations preparing for deployment of troops to Iraq. The lawsuit’s premise is the government and its agents are a threat to democracy and the 1st Amendment (ironically, @narchists often target photojournalists).

The uncomfortable truth is, it isn’t agents such as Mr. Towery who provide the most critical information or are the more egregious betrayers. It’s the conspir@tors themselves! Almost all of them roll over for the feds in a judicial system exquisitely tuned to extract the same through terror, torture, isolation, and long prison sentences or even death. Many so targeted become clinically insane before the government is done with them–a realistic parallel to the movie, BRAZIL. 

Yet, adding to the lifelong stigma the government uses to label the human detritus it creates, the self-righteous r@dicals who sit in judgment insist on a pattern of stigmatizing, or ‘snitch hunts’ in a vain attempt to counter government terror with r@dical terror along with a thinly disguised call to @ction against these broken human remains.

The following is re-posted from the Earth First! journal, which maintains an active ‘snitch list’ index to illustrate the point and what neophytes like Leah Plante, et ux, may expect when the whole venomous snake pit comes crashing down on them:

INFORMANT TRACKER

(from Earth First!–an online journ@l promoting defending the environment/planet)

This feature on the EF! Newswire keeps you abreast on the whereabouts and status of informants and ‘snitches’ who are cooperating with, or working for, the State in effort to monitor and/or repress ecological resistance movements. Sadly, the names on this list are people who can never be trusted again in activist circles or resistance movements. We aim to present short summaries of these individuals, so that they are consolidated in a single location. There is very likely more information, including additional photos, to be found for each individual through online search engines and resources designed to gather personal information on people (some of which cost money). We hope that this page will serve as a useful starting point for those seeking to do further research. We only post information on this page that can be verified to the greatest extent possible through public documents—in most cases, their plea agreements.   Types of Informants Listed:

Undercover Agent/ Infiltrator
A law enforcement officer who uses an assumed name or fake identity to infiltrate a movement or organization to gather information or evidence. In political infiltration cases, an agent will typically pose as a sympathizer to a particular organization, gain the trust of its key members and then use this access to gather confidential information to pass on to the investigative agency. A secondary objective may be to lay the groundwork for a separate investigation. Undercover agents typically concoct a cover story as detailed as the assignment requires as well as a basic biography and plausible story covering past and present activities.
Informant
Individuals who are not employed as law enforcement agents who provide law enforcement agents with information, often in exchange for money. An informant ordinarily has previous involvement in – and more intimate knowledge of – the movement or organization that the agents are investigating.
Cooperating Witness
Similar to informants, except that cooperating witnesses usually agree to ‘flip’ or ‘snitch’ after being threatened with prosecution. Cooperating witnesses will testify in court in exchange for lesser or no charges filed against them.

Law enforcement recruits informants and cooperating witnesses from the ranks of people already active within the movements or organizations being targeted. The government often threatens these individuals with charges carrying massive jail time, offering to not file charges in exchange for a promise to inform on others in the movement. Undercover agents, on the other hand, use false pretenses from the beginning of their association with any movement or organization.

The U.S.-based informants are listed by release date (when applicable) or date of cooperation from least to most recent, while the International informants are listed in alphabetical order because to our knowledge none have served time. This page was originally posted on 9/5/11, and last updated on 6/26/13.

Currently Walking Free

justin_samuelJustin Clayton Samuel
(DOB: Dec. 31, 1978)
of Snohomish, Washington Height: 6’ 0″ Weight: ~165 lbs Hair: brown. Eyes: hazel Race: white

Informant Status: Testified against Peter Young in charges related to cutting fences and liberating mink from a series of fur farms in October 1997. He was sentenced to two years in federal prison plus a year supervised release and ordered to pay $364,106 in restitution in exchange for his cooperationCurrent Information: He was released on 11-28-2001. As of 2010, he had gone into the computer security field, working for Firefox, and was a PhD student at UC Berkeley. His school department profile: www.eecs.berkeley.edu/~jsamuel His twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/jstnsml


anna“Anna”
(DOB ~1986, according to court testimony) of Miami, Florida when she started working for the Feds Height: approximately 5’4’’

Informant Status: Worked as an informant in the anarchist/environmental/animal rights movements since at least 2003 (during the FTAA protests in Miami). She attended various gatherings, meetings and protests up until January 2006 when Eric McDavid, Lauren Weiner, and Zachary Jenson were arrested in Auburn, CA and charged with conspiracy to destroy public and private property. During her time with the trio, Anna wore a wire, had a recording device in her car, possibly her bag, and the house they were living in (that the Feds paid for) was wired. She reported back to the feds about anyone and everyone she came into contact with—not just Eric, Zach and Lauren. The criminal complaint against Eric states that Anna was involved in the prosecution of at least 12 other “anarchist” cases. According to her testimony at Eric McDavid’s trial, she was recruited by the FBI after going “undercover” to write a paper for a class about the FTAA protests. During her time as an informant, she reported on people attending Crimethinc gatherings, the DNC, the RNC, BioDev in Philly, the G8, Feral Visions and more. Her work entrapping Eric McDavid landed him in prison for a term of almost 20 years.anna-fullCurrent Information: During her time working for the feds, she dyed her hair frequently—sometimes blond, sometimes red, sometimes brown. She told people she was a medic, wore a medic’s garb and carried a medic’s bag, although no one ever actually saw her perform any of the functions of a medic. She boasted of previous actions, was bold in her speech, and was incredibly pushy. She always had seemingly bottomless pockets and even paid for Weiner to fly across the country. According to FOIA documents, Anna was residing in Philadelphia at some point after Eric’s arrest. Before Eric was arrested, Anna had used the email address: annadavies99@yahoo.com and the phone number: 954-821-2477. She also sometimes told people that Anna was an alias and that “Grai Damiani” was her real name. For more insight into Anna, you can read court transcripts of her testimony at Eric’s trial at: supporteric.org

zach-jensenZachary Jensen
(DOB: ~1986) of Monroe, Washington

Informant Status: Arrested on January 13, 2006, along with Eric McDavid and Lauren Weiner and charged with a single count of conspiracy to destroy by arson or explosives public and private property. His arrest was the direct result of a paid FBI informant, known as “Anna,” who spent over a year and half befriending and entrapping the trio. Zach plead guilty to a lesser charge on July 18, 2006 and was released on bail later that month. The terms of his plea agreement required full cooperation with the government against Eric McDavid at trial, as well as in any and all other investigations in which the government deemed him useful. Zach received time served (which amounted to about 6 months) at his sentencing on December 4, 2008. His supervised release expired in December 2011. Current Information: Zach has a medium build, with brown hair and brown eyes. He stands at about 5’5’’. His last known place of residence was Seattle, Washington. He fancies himself a writer and claimed to have been working on a book about his experiences (and warning others against following a similar path) during the time of his sentencing hearing. He has also claimed an interest in Buddhism, yoga and other “spiritual” pursuits. He is normally withdrawn and quiet and eager to please whatever company he might be keeping.


lauren-weinerLauren Weiner
(DOB: ~1986) of Pound Ridge, New York

Informant Status: Arrested on January 13, 2006, along with Eric McDavid and Zachary Jenson. She was charged with a single count of conspiracy to destroy by arson or explosives public and private property. Her arrest was the direct result of a paid FBI informant, known as “Anna,” who spent over a year and half befriending and entrapping the trio. Lauren was released on bond in early February 2006 and later plead guilty to a lesser charge on May 30, 2006. However, there is evidence that Lauren was cooperating with the government months before the plea agreement was signed. The terms of her plea agreement required full cooperation with the government against Eric McDavid at trial, as well as in any and all other investigations in which the government deemed her useful. Lauren received time served (which amounted to about 3 weeks) at her sentencing on December 11, 2008. Her supervised release expired in December 2011. Current Information: Lauren has a heavy build, with brown hair and brown eyes. She stands at about 5’1’’. Her last known place of residence was Pound Ridge, New York (Westchester County). Lauren attended art school and is quite skilled in pottery and various other art forms. She is outspoken and often lies or engages in hyperbolic speech to impress those around her. Stories have surfaced about her attempting to attend fundraisers for Green Scare defendants after her release on bond.


informants-from-estacada-arsonAngela “Angie” Marie Cesario
(DOB ~1979)

Informant Status: Took a cooperating plea deal for a 2001 firebombing of logging and cement trucks in Oregon, pointing the finger at Tre Arrow to reduce her sentence. This was a departure from earlier testimonies, when both Cesario and Rosenbloom did not name Arrow as the instigator, but Jake Sherman. All three named Arrow in exchange for sentences of 41 months. She was released on 12-22-2006. Current Information: None at this time.

Jeremy David Rosenbloom
(DOB ~1977)

Informant Status: took a cooperating plea deal, pointing thefinger at Tre Arrow to reduce the sentence. This was a departure from earlier testimonies, when both Cesario and Rosenbloom did not name Arrow as the instigator, but Jake Sherman. All three named Arrow in exchange for sentences of 41 months. He was released on 12-22-2006. Current Information: None at this time.


Jacob “Jake” David Bardwell Sherman
(DOB ~1982) of Portland, Oregon

Informant Status: Convicted of arson of logging trucks and a front-end loader near Eagle Creek in 2001. Sherman “immediately began to cooperate” with investigators after his arrest, according to court documents, naming three others who had participated in the arsons: Tre Arrow, Angela Marie Cesario and Jeremy David Rosenbloom and pegging Arrow as the ringleader in exchange for a sentence of 41 months. Sherman was boastful and told several girlfriends (two of whom also provided information to the government), in detail, his version of the events that took place that night. Sherman had also not been an especially careful saboteur. His mother’s vehicle smelled of gasoline and he dumped his clothes in the trash bin when he returned that night at 2:00 am, asking his brother to tell his parents that he had returned home at 10:30 pm. Sherman’s father contacted the FBI telling them he believed his son was involved in the arson. Current Information: None at this time.


darren-todd-thurstonDarren Todd Thurston aka “Goat”
(DOB: ~1970) of Canada

Informant Status: Took a cooperating plea agreement, charged with conspiracy to commit arson and destruction of an energy facility east of Bend, OR in 1999. Thurston was given a sentence of 37 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and arson in the 2001 fire at theLitchfield, Calif., U.S. Bureau of Land Management wild horse corrals. Current Information: He was released on 8-14-2008. As of summer 2010, he was running his own computer security firm (http://www.hard-mac.com/blog/) out of Canada. Hegoes by “rad_boy” and “hard_mac”.


stephanie-fultzStephanie Lynne Fultz
(DOB ~1980)

Informant Status: Cooperated with the authorities and testified against Marie Mason and Jesse Waters after being charged with participating in one ELF action with Mason and Ambrose. In 2009, Fultz was placed on probation for two years and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. Current Information: None at this time.


aren-burthwickAren Bernard Burthwick
(DOB ~1980)

Informant Status: Cooperated with the authorities and testified against Marie Mason after being charged with participating in one action with Mason and Ambrose. Burthwick was sentenced to 14 months in 2009. Current Information: none at this time.


trapper-zuehlkeTrapper James Zuehlke
(DOB: April 14, 1975) of Council Bluffs, Iowa

Informant Status: To evade his own legal issues, he provided information in 2010 on his brother Walter Bond’s whereabouts and criminal activity, including going out of his way to trick Walter into a location where he was arrested. While this is not a case of someone in the movement informing, it does illustrate another example of how one may become an informant to be aware of. Current Information: He lives with wife and three children in Council Bluffs. He is employed at Jim Hawk Truck Trailers.


lacey-phillabaumLacey Phillabaum
(DOB: ~1975) of Spokane, Washington

Informant Status: Phillabaum took a cooperating plea agreement, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, arson, and use of a destructive device at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture in 2001. The university spent $7.2 million to rebuild the center. She is very intelligent, calculated and manipulative. Phillabaum is a formerEarth First! Journal editor, known for her role as the narrator of the underground documentary film Breaking the Spell, which advocates property damage and examines the 1999 Seattle WTO riots from the perspective of anarchists in Eugene, OR. In 2005 she moved to Charlottesville, VA, to take reporting position at C-Ville Weekly. She turned herself in to federal agents sometime around early 2006. In 2008, Phillabaum was sentenced to three years in federal prison and three years’ probation. Current Information: She was released on 4-21-2010 and is currently out after transitioning via a halfway house in Spokane, WA. She is thought to be living at her parents’ house in Phoenix, AZ and reportedly seeking work as a paralegal.


tankersleySarah “Kendall” Harvey Tankersley
(DOB: ~1977) of Ohio

Informant Status: Arrested while living in Flagstaff, AZ,charged with arson and attempted arson of US Forest Industries in Medford. Kendall received a 3-year, 10-month sentence. Judge Ann Aiken sentenced Tankersley to five months less than she agreed to when she took a cooperating plea agreement to arson at the US Forest Industry’s office in Medford in 1998 because she cooperated with the state. Current Information: She was preparing for medical school when she pled, and attended Humboldt State and graduated with molecular biology degree in 2004 so may be working in either field. She was released on 9-17-2010.


suzanne-savoieSuzanne Nicole Savoie aka “India”
(DOB: ~1977) of Applegate, Oregon

Informant Status: Charged with arson at Superior Lumber Co., in Glendale, OR. She was sentenced to more than 51 months in prison for her role in two arsons. She turned self in to FBI agents in mid-January 2006. Savoie made statements against Nathan Block and Joyanna Zacher and was given a sentence only 8 months less than expected because of her cooperation with investigators. Current Information: Released in March 2011, living with her husband in the Applegate Valley of southern Oregon. She attended the April 2011 screening of “If a Tree Falls” in Ashland and was heckled and harassed during and after the showing. She claims her “innocence” as a reluctant federal informant, and her husband has attempted to rejoin the activist community.


billy-cottrellWilliam “Billy” Jensen Cottrell
(DOB: 1980) of Gainesville, Florida

Informant Status: A former Ph.D. candidate at the California Institute of Technology who was convicted in April 2005 of conspiracy and arson, associated with the 2003 destruction of 8 sport utility vehicles and a Hummer dealership in the name of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). He named Tyler Johnson as the ‘mastermind’ behind the arsons. He was sentenced to eight years in federal prison on arson charges and ordered to pay $3.5 million in restitution. His lawyers appealed the verdict and sentence on account that he has Asperger’s syndrome and it was upheld 2/3 of the way through his sentence. Current Information: He was released August 16, 2011, and is now living in Florida.

ian-wallaceIan Wallace
(DOB: ~1981) Formerly of the Twin Cities and recently attending college at Stony Brook (NY)

Informant Status: Signed a cooperating plea agreement on September 5, 2008 resulting in a sentence of three years in prison, beginning June 1, 2009, for his role in placing two failed firebombs at US Forest Service buildings where GE tree research was being conducted on the campus of Michigan Tech University in 2001. Wallace and another traveled from Minneapolis to upper Michigan for the action, according to the pleas agreement. He faced a maximum of 10 years in prison. Wallace also admitted involvement in three other acts in the plea agreement: two in Saint Paul—sabotage of a building and vehicles at a US Forest Service research station in 2000 (loss $25,186) and arson of the construction site of what is today the Cargill Building for Microbial and Plant Genomics on the University of Minnesota campus (loss $630,000). He also admitted to involvement and named three other activists responsible for the destruction of 500 research GE trees in Rhinelander, Wisconsin: Bryan Lefey (who took a non-cooperating agreement) and was sentenced to 3 years in prison for the Rhinelander action, Katherine Christianson(who took a cooperating agreement) was sentenced to 2 years, and Daniel McGowan, serving a 7 year sentence currently. Aaron Ellringer, who drove the activists to the Rhinelander site, cooperated with the government and was sentenced to four days in jail. Please contact us with any further information on Christianson or Ellringer. See SourceCurrent Information: He was released on 01-12-2012.


nikki-stanfordNicole “Nikki” Stanford (formerly Viehl)
(DOB: ~1990) of Salt Lake City, Utah Height 5’3″ Weight: 95 lbs

Informant Status: Was subpoenaed to a federal grand jury in 2009 investigating local illegal animal rights activities, mainly fur farm raids in Utah. She was initially going to resist the grand jury along with Jordan Halliday, but later decided to testify and admitted to naming names and vehicles on the stand. She used to be married to former animal liberation prisoner BJ Viehl. Current Information: She works as a model and at a gun store called Gallenson’s at 166 E 200 South in Salt Lake City.


Daniel Kruk
(DOB ~1980) of Baltimore, MD Height: 6’5” Weight: ~250 lbs Race: White

Informant Status: Daniel Kruk appeared in federal court in Indianapolis on July 19 2012, to offer a guilty plea and for sentencing for charges relating to an arson at the Republican National Headquarters in Bloomington, IN in 2000. At this hearing, it was disclosed that Kruk has been cooperating with the feds since 2009. Kruk was facing a sentence of up to 5 years and a fine of up to $150,000 in restitution. Because of his cooperation, he received 4 years of probation (no jail time), 2 years of community service (one 8-hour day a month), and a $5000 fine. Current Information: Kruk is currently on probation. He lives in Baltimore and works at a FedEx store.


david-agranoffDavid Agranoff
(DOB ~1974) now of Portland, OR

Informant Status: Agreed to become a government informant as part of a plea agreement related to Earth Liberation Front crimes in Bloomington, Indiana, more than 10 years ago. According to the prosecution at Kruk’s sentencing hearing, Agranoff began, “negotiating with the state on various issues” in 2009. In January, 2012, Agranoff was sentenced to 1 year and 1 day for misprision of a felony (knowing about the commission of a felony and failing to report it to the police). The court recommended he serve his time in a low-security prison camp. He also received 1 year probation. Current Information: He was transferred to a halfway house in Seattle on 10-15-2012 and was released on 01-03-2013. He is currently residing in the Portland, OR and runs a blog.


jennifer_kolarJennifer Lynn Kolar aka “Diver”
(DOB: ~1973) originally of Spokane, later Seattle, Washington

Informant Status: Took a cooperating agreement pleading guilty to charges in connection with the firebombing at the University of Washington. She turned herself in to federal agents in Washington sometime around early 2006.  Ironically, she was often the ‘computer security expert’ for the groups she worked with. Current Information: She was released on 2-01-2013 and resides in Seattle where she is working as a dog trainer at PAWS. For the years prior to arrest, she spent much of her time sailing and racing a yacht, Manta Ray, an Olson 911 SE sail number 45, she co-owns. She was a chair of the Corinthian Yacht Club (CYC) of Seattle Large Boat Racing Fleet.


jake_fergusonJacob “Jake” Ferguson
(DOB: ~1972) of Eugene, Oregon

Informant Status: Court records indicate that by spring 2004, Ferguson was wearing a hidden recording device in an effort to bait others, into incriminating themselves. He admitted in a cooperating agreement in 2007 that he set fire to the US Forest Service Ranger Station in Detroit, OR and a government pickup in 1996. He admitted to being granted immunity plus $50,000 for his cooperation, and received 5 years probation. Ferguson, searched out others and had them recount experiences while he was wearing a recording device. The recordings provided investigators the evidence that they needed to convict Daniel McGowan, Jonathan Paul, Joyanna Zacher and Nathan Block (who all received sentences of 5-7 years). Ferguson wore the hidden recorder to the 2005 annual Earth First! gathering, to the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon, and to meetings with six of his former partners, by then scattered across the country. FBI and Forest service special agents were possibly tracking him since 1996, when an accomplice at the Detriot Ranger station fire left a Slingshot organizer phone book in a local phone booth. Ferguson was under surveillance for nearly 5 years when a roommate assumed he had stolen her truck after an argument, reported it stolen and filed a restraining order against him, putting him further on the police radar. He was using heroin heavily by 2003, when feds contacted Ferguson and lied to him about people within the community linking him to the Romania fire and other arsons. That, ostensibly, is when Ferguson agreed to cooperate. He was never indicted for the over 15 acts of sabotage he admitted and he may have been financially compensated for his cooperation. After testing positive for opiates on 3/29/11, he was incarcerated for violating probation. On 7/14/11, Ferguson was charged in state court with manufacture, delivery, possession of heroin, cocaine, methadone, and others; child neglect and child endangerment. For this violation, Ferguson received 22 months in prison (the bottom end of range), and Judge Ann Aiken made his sentence concurrent (meaning he will serve both sentences at the same time). Current information: He was released on 5/29/13. Prior to his arrest he is believed to have resided in an Edgewood Center condo (paid for in full by the FBI) located on 40th and Donald in Eugene, Oregon which he may return to. He may be easily recognized by a pentagram tattoo on his forehead.


Briana Watersbriana-waters
(DOB: ~1975) formerly of Oakland, California

Informant status: Sadly, this former non-cooperating ELF prisoner, took a cooperating plea deal in the prosecution of two 2001 ELF acts of arson. She had been released earlier this year after a mistrial and is expected to testify against former boyfriend Justin Solondz, who was captured as a fugitive in China, is now in US custody for alleged ELF activity. Current Information: She has a young daughter and was working as a violin teacher prior to arrest. She was released from a halfway house on 06-27-2013.


chelsea-gerlachChelsea Dawn Gerlach
(DOB: 1977) of Sweet Home, and later Eugene, Oregon

Informant Status: Sentenced to 9 years for arson at Childers Meat Co. in Eugene; arson at a Boise Cascade office in Monmouth, OR; toppling of a Bonneville Power Administration tower; arson at the Eugene Police Department West University Public Safety Station; attempted arson at Jefferson Poplar Farms in Clatskanie. Gerlach pled guilty in a cooperating agreement to conspiracy and arson charges in 20 fires that did $40 million worth of damage in five states, including a 1998 fire at the Vail ski resort in Colorado. After the group disbanded in 2001, Gerlach went underground and became a DJ in Portland, OR. At the time of her arrest, she was selling drugs in Portland with her boyfriend Darren Todd Thurston. Thus far, drug charges are not pending with either Gerlach or Thurston. Gerlach was extremely helpful to the prosecution, although she defends herself against being vilified as a snitch and says she cooperated ‘for the movement.’ Gerlach made statements against Nathan Block and Joyanna Zacher. She convinced Thurston to turn informant, unsuccessfully attempting to get Zacher, Block and McGowan to turn as well. She led the prosecution on several field trips to previous arsons and a buried cache of guns, ammunition and fake passports allegedly belonging to William “Avalon” Rodgers. Current Information: She provided information about herself including self-identifying as good with words and computers in an interview she did from prison in 2007. She also developed an interest in Buddhism while incarcerated. She is still registered at a halfway house in Seattle (although she is working at her brother’s business in Eugene, The Divine Cupcake) and released on 10-10-2013.


Currently Serving Time


frank-ambroseFrank Brian Ambrose
(DOB: ~1975) formerly of Bloomington, Indiana

Informant Status: Ambrose pleaded guilty in a cooperating agreement to conspiring to set a fire and explosion that caused more than $1 million in damage to the offices of Michigan State University’s Agriculture Biotechnology Support Project on New Year’s Eve 1999. Ambrose became a paid FBI informant after his arrest (for disposing of evidence of actions in a dumpster that were found and law enforcement notified). Ambrose has provided information on 15 other people allegedly involved in ELF/ALF actions, including ex-wife Marie Mason. Court documents reveal that Ambrose was being used by the FBI not only to gather information on ELF/ALF activities but general movement organizing as well (specifically organizing against I-69 and Cincinnati Earth First! organizing). He “traveled outside of Michigan seven times at the FBI’s direction, often working extremely late hours; he made repeated trips from Detroit to Grand Rapids; he made 178 consensual recordings of telephone conversations and in-person meetings with investigative targets; and he participated in lengthy interviews with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit and otherwise assisted the FBI’s efforts to improve its intelligence-gathering protocols related to, and its understanding of, underground environmental and animal-rights extremist groups and movements.” In sum, his cooperation with investigators after his arrest has been substantial and rather extraordinary. He was sentenced to 9 years in prison in 2008. He also received a lifetime of supervisory release after prison and was ordered to pay $3.7 million in restitution to the University and for other sabotaged sites. There is speculation of an additional informant in Ambrose’s case (listed as another confidential source in official documents). Confirmation and details on the identity of this person are currently pending. Current Information: He is currently being held at a halfway house in DC and has a projected release date of 12-23-2013.


stan-meyerhoffStanislas “Stan” Gregory Meyerhoff, also went by “Jack”
(DOB: ~1977) of Charlottesville, Virginia

Informant Status: Meyerhoff was the first of the group called “The Family” to be sentenced, and the first to snitch once arrested. Charged with May 1999 arson at Childers Meat Co. in Eugene; 1999 arson at Boise Cascade office in Monmouth, OR; toppling of a Bonneville Power Administration tower; arson at the Eugene Police Department West University Public Safety Station; arson at Superior Lumber Co., in Glendale, OR; arson of sport utility vehicles at a Eugene car dealership; arson of Jefferson Poplar Farms in Clatskanie. He admitted guilt in his first hearing in front of an arraignment judge. Meyerhoff eventually pleaded guilty in a cooperating agreement to conspiracy and arson charges in a string of 20 fires that did $40 million worth of damage in five states, including a 1998 fire at the Vail ski resort in Colorado. Meyerhoff, who admitted to fashioning the devices to start the fires, was sentenced to 13 years in prison. After the group disbanded in 2001, Meyerhoff enrolled in college in Virginia, where he studied engineering. Current Information: He is currently held at Englewood FCI and is scheduled to be released on 7-08-2015.


kevin-tubbsKevin Tubbs
(DOB: ~1969) originally from Nebraska, but had been living in Springfield, Oregon

Informant status: Tubbs attended Humboldt State University and was once editor of the Earth First! Journal. Despite his status as an informant, he still has an active support page at. Tubbs cooperated three weeks after his arrest. His cooperation was substantial, after he learned of three snitches against him: Ferguson, Meyerhoff and Kolar—in that order. Tubbs’ testimony was sufficient enough to get Jonathan Paul indicted. Tubbs was an animal rights activist charged with arson of Oakridge Ranger Station; arson of Cavel West horse slaughterhouse in Redmond, OR on July 21, 1997; attempted arson at US Forest Industries in Medford, OR in December 1998; arson at Childers Meat Co., in Eugene; Sept. 6, 2000 arson at the Eugene Police Department West University Public Safety Station; Jan. 2, 2001, arson at Superior Lumber Co., in Glendale, OR; using a destructive device to set fire to sport utility vehicles at a Eugene, OR, car dealership in March 2001; arson at Jefferson Poplar Farms in Clatskanie, OR, in May 2001. In 2007, he was sentenced to nearly 12 years and 7 months in prison with 3 years supervised release. Current Information: Tubbs is currently held in Safford FCI and has a projected release date of 11-23-2016.

International Informants

Additional information on all of the UK informants may be found via the Activist Security collective. The same organization has also published a few security guides.

jim-boylingJim Boyling aka Jim Sutton
of the UK

Informant Status: A serving Metropolitan police officer who spent five years infiltrating environmental groups, including Reclaim the Streets, between 1995 and 2000. During his time undercover, when he is said to have become a key organiser, Boyling met a 28-year-old woman and began a relationship with her. He later disappeared from her life. It was only when he reappeared a year later that he told the woman he was a police officer. They later married and had two children but divorced two years ago.

Current Information: None at this time.

simon-brommaSimon Bromma aka Simon Brenner
(DOB 13-04-1985)
of Leimen, Germany
allegedly in Bad Säckingen in the Waldshut (Baden-Württemberg) area

Informant Status: On the 12th of December 2010 a undercover agent working for the Landeskriminalamt (LKA) Baden-Württemberg was uncovered in Heidelberg, Germany. Undercover, he used email addresses simonbrenner@ymail.com and californication@riseup.net,the latter has already been blocked. Under the user name ‘californiaction’ he also wrote articles on Indymedia. From November of 2009 – November of 2010, he infiltrated groups and actions including SDS, Umzingelung des AKW Biblis, blockades against the fascist protest in Berlin, Campus Camp in Heidelberg, anti education cuts protest in Heidelberg, a direct action climbing workshop, blockades against the fascist protest in Sinsheim-Hoffenheim, the NoBorder Camp in Brussels, antifascist protests in Rastatt and Rheinmünster-Söllingen against the fascist centre „Rössle,“ protests against the nuclear waste transport and the ‘south blockade’ („Südblockade“), antifascist protests against the hero memorial of Heidelberg on the ‘honor graveyard’ („Ehrenfriedhof“) and the Critical Mass Action in Heidelberg. After being recognized by an acquaintance and confronted, he admitted that he gave reports to his superiors in Stuttgart every two weeks, as well as over the phone with the Heidelberger state security division for follow up assessments of political actions. He also self-confessed that he was responsible for the raiding of a flat of a comrade as well as the enormous police presence at the Heidelberger “Ehrenfriedhof” during the protests against the hero memorial.

Current information: Simon Bromma may be contacted via simbromma@yahoo.de. He is from a police family, and the cover story of “Simon Brenner” is quite close to his real life. Similar names make it unlikely that his cover is blown by a chance encounter with an old acquaintance, and the spy reacts naturally to the familiar sound of his name. The substantive overlapping of biographical data, home region, knowledge and hobbies of both the real and the assumed identities keeps the spy from having to pretend all the time.
John Dines, a Metropolitan Police sergeant, undercover in the early 1990sJohn Dines a.k.a. “John Barker”
of the UK

Informant Status: John Dines posed as an environmental activist between 1987 and 1992, while working as an undercover sergeant in the Metropolitan police’s special branch feeding intelligence to his handlers in a secret unit called the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). During this time, he had a two-year relationship with an activist. He was one of many spies who stole the identities of dead children to make his alter ego more credible. By the summer of 1991, as part of an exit strategy, Dines began exhibiting symptoms of a mental breakdown.

It was not until 2010, after almost two decades of research, that his former girlfriend found out for sure that the man she had loved was a police spy. After locating a copy of his marriage certificate she states, “What hit me like a ton of bricks is that he listed his occupation as a police officer…What had once seemed like heart-wrenching stories in these letters, disclosures that made me really worried about his wellbeing, were completely false. That is manipulation. It is abuse.”

Current Information: He is believed to have returned to work at Scotland Yard, however, no other details are known at this time.

matthew-gibbonsMatthew Gibbons
of the UK
Informant Status: Infiltrated and provided information on York Action for Animals, York and Leeds Antifa, plus Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty to the police in 2008-2009 until emails between him and the police were uncovered.
Current Information: He has since known to be an active member of the fascist football hooligans English Defence League.
rob-gilchristRobert Steven Gilchrist
(DOB: 25 October 1968)
New Zealand/Aotearoa.

Informant Status: In September 1996 Rob Gilchrist was fired from his job selling door hardware. He was charged with attempting to defraud the company he worked for, but in June 1997 he was found not guilty “by the skin of his teeth” according to the Judge. A year later, as Christchurch activists were preparing for protests against an Asia Pacific Economic Development (APEC) free trade conference, Gilchrist appeared on the scene and started joining local groups. It is likely that he was recruited by the Police around the time of his fraud case, well before he approached any activist groups. The anti-APEC groups, led by experienced activists, were suspicious of him but he moved on to other scenes, eventually befriending local unemployed rights and anarchist activists. By early 2000 he was involved in animal rights activists and traveling up and down the country as part of a network of anti-capitalist groups. Over the next eight years he was a police informant active in animal rights, environmental and anarchist groups.

Through these connections he was able to spy on many other activists in NZ for the police. He also provided the police information on the whereabouts of many Maori, anarchist and environmental activists who were raided and imprisoned during Operation 8. Rob is also known to have perpetrated sexual abuse on a number of occasions.

Additional detailed information on who he was spying on, what information he was gathering and how he was caught:

http://www.converge.org.nz/abc/pr38-180b.htm

http://www.converge.org.nz/abc/pr38-180c.htm

Current Information: Rob is known to be currently living in the Waltham area of Christchurch. He is suing the police for mental pain caused during his employ with them.

mark-jacobs“Mark Jacobs” or “Marco”
of the UK
Height: Over 6′

Informant Status: Acted as a campaigner inside anti-globalisation and anarchist groups for four years. He was first noticed in activists’ gatherings in Brighton in March 2005 and became a regular face at meetings of Dissent!, the network mobilising protesters for the G8 summit at Gleneagles in July. In 2006, he moved to Cardiff to monitor the activities of an anarchist group as well as the Rising Tide Network. Former friends said he traveled with UK activists to protest against the G8 in Heligendam, Germany, in 2007. Jacobs, like both the other male undercover officers (Jim Boyling and Mark Kennedy) exposed by the Guardian, has been accused of having an affair while infiltrating a group. By 2009, there was enough suspicion that he was an informant that he was no longer welcome in many circles and appears to have moved out of the area.

Current Information: None at this time.

Mark Jenner or Mark CassidyMark Jenner a.k.a. “Mark Cassidy”
of the UK

Informant Status: Jenner was an undercover police officer in the Metropolitan police’s Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), one of two units that specialised in infiltrating protest groups. He pretended to be a leftwing activist from 1994 to 2000, sharing a flat with an activist girlfriend for four years despite being married in his real life. The activist now understands she inadvertently provided “an excellent cover story,” helping persuade other activists he was a genuine person. Jenner disentangled himself from the deployment in 2000, disappearing suddenly from his faux girlfriend’s flat after months of pretending to suffer from depression. “This is not about just a lying boyfriend or a boyfriend who has cheated on you,” she said. “It is about a fictional character who was created by the state and funded by taxpayers’ money.”

Current Information: He is believed to have returned to work at Scotland Yard, however, no other details are known at this time.

toby-kendallToby Kendall aka Ken Tobias
of the UK

Informant Status: Worked for C2i International, a “special risk management” firm, tried to infiltrate Plane Stupid (an organization in opposition to expansion of Heathrow airport) from 2007-2008, but was instead fed false information that he passed along to the aviation industry. A tip from an old classmate revealed his real name which led members of the group to find his LinkedIn profile that confirmed that he worked for C2i.

Current information: None at this time.
mark-kennedyMark Kennedy a.k.a Mark Stone
of the UK, now the US

Informant Status: Acted as an informant from 2003-2010 [seechronology]. He had at least three relationships with female activists and sued the Met for emotional trauma resulting from his exposure.

Current Information: After his exposure in October 2010, he is still actively seeking to operate as a private consultant. He appears to be based in the US. His LinkedIn profile lists as an employer US-based “risk managers” Densus Group, for whom, since March 2012 as a consultant. He has several tattoos.

bob_lambertBob Lambert aka Bob Robinson
of the UK

Informant Status: Acted as a spy in London Greenpeace from 1984 to 1988, and he went on to supervise other agents who continued with infiltration of groups such as Reclaim the Streets, along with anti fascist protests, and actions against genetically modified crops. – an operation he took part in or supervised over two decades, whilst rising to the rank of Detective Inspector. Bob was also actively involved with many other protest activities including at Molesworth Peace Camp, free festivals, and animal rights activities and was even prosecuted at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court for distributing ‘insulting’ leaflets outside a butchers shop. He adopted a false identity to infiltrate leftwing and animal rights groups, said he had the 18-month relationship with a woman, who was not herself involved in political activism, as part of his cover story. He was outed on October 15, 2011.

Current Information: None at this time.

paul-mercerPaul Symington Mercer
of the UK

Informant Status: In the 1990s, Mercer involved himself in the anti-roads movement including protests against the M11 in Claremont Road. In 1994, he published the ‘Directory of British Political Organisations,’ which contained personal information and contact details for people he’d met in Earth First! and other ecological direct action campaigns in the early ‘90s. Later, working for Global Open, the same company that employed Mark Kennedy, Paul was actively involved with environmental and animal rights campaigns in Nottingham, including Nottingham Against Incineration and Landfill (NAIL) from 2002-2007. Mercer was publicly exposed for his role in spying on anti-arms trade campaigners, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) in 2007. In 2007, Mercer was thrust into the headlines when it was revealed that he had forwarded an email containing legally privileged material from anti-arms trade campaign, CAAT, to arms dealers, BAE. An investigation found that Mercer was working as a security consultant for LigneDeux Associates, a company paid £2,500 a month by BAE to provide information on “threats” to the company.

In his sworn affidavit to the court during the CAAT case, Mercer insisted that “most of my research involves the automated searching of public websites and newsletters,” indeed he claims to have “a good reputation for my ability to rigorously search the Internet.” Nevertheless, he says he has “a wide range of contacts” and “does sometimes receive information from anonymous sources, as do many journalists.” At a meeting organised by think tank Policy Exchange in January he described himself as having spent 29 years trying to “combine an academic study of extra-parliamentary groups with actually going and seeing what happens on protests.” He claimed to have “covered and having been on pretty well every major public order disturbance in London over that period,” including the Poll Tax Riots and Mayday 2001.

Current Information: None at this time.

adrian-radfordAdrian Radford a.k.a. “Ian Farmer”
of the UK

Informant Status: From 2004 to 2007, he supplied his police handlers with detailed information on animal rights activists, mostly associated with SHAC. Radford gave detailed accounts of three actions in which he participated, and even staged a lone action to “prove” he was not an informant. He also disrupted some and prevented others, often by giving the police information that allowed them to warn targets. He often blamed errors on a legitimate activist Gavin Medd-Hall. Four activists who were befriended by Radford were prosecuted in 2009, Gregg Avery, Natasha Avery, Heather Nicholson, and Mel Broughton. Radford was nicknamed “Captain Nancy” because of his flamboyant character and past work as a gay rights activist.

Current Information: He is now based in Gran Canaria.

becki-toddRebecca “Becki” Todd
of Kent, UK
Informant Status: Infiltrated climate action groups from 2010-2011 first for private security firm C2i, and later set up her own company Vericola Ltd for which she hired other infiltrators. The Guardian independently confirmed that Vericola’s clients include Scottish Coal (a.k.a. Scottish Resource Group) and Scottish Power. The evidence against her was slight for some time, however, she mistakenly forwarded on an email naming some clients to one of the groups being monitored providing conclusive evidence of her motives. The emails both identify some of her clients and that she was collecting this sort of information. What is worth noting from this situation is the use of a variety of people to quickly pass through groups and the use of multiple identifies for signing up to lists rather than any attempt for deeper infiltration.

Current Information: None at this time.

lynn-watsonLynn Watson
of the UK

Informant Status: Posed as an environmental activist for five years after surfacing in in 2003 at a protest at Aldermaston, Britain’s nuclear weapons centre. In 2004 she returned to Aldermaston women’s peace camp. The following year, she moved to the student area of Leeds, West Yorkshire, where she became active in environmentalist groups centered around a radical social centre called the Common Place. Watson also took a role in the UK Action Medics Collective. She disappeared from Leeds in 2008.

Current Information: None at this time.

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2 Responses to The New Salem: R@dical Snitch Hunts

  1. So… radicals are bad, because they are paranoid, their own worst enemies, assaultive and destructive. Meaning they are mentally ill, unable to discern friends from foes, and tend to distrust and “turn on each other in a heartbeat.” Yet you also assert that police do target radicals, in your own account. And you admit that one of those who targeted radicals was actually an Army agent, in your account. Interesting that you don’t go on to wander into Posse Comitatus analysis at that point (being a professional paralegal you are more than qualified I am sure), but hey – you have your own axe to grind, the better to gore an ox or two. And the oxen you gore are: The same unfairly targeted persons your subject (radicals) pick on: so called snitches. You literally repost their pictures, descriptions, whatever you can scrape from a single other website, as your shining example of how a whole slew of otherwise disparate souls (radicals) are fundamentally flawed.

    Yeah, Mr John Smith – some company you keep there. Nice that you went to the trouble to do some original reporting on why even ONE of the named snitches was, you know, not a snitch at all (which is really what your thesis calls for, in case you had missed that). You do realize that repeating someone else’s libel makes it just as much your libel – even more so since you did not bother to contact even one of the accused snitches you target in your post. Even I am not that reckless.

    I wonder, if you hold radicals as assaultive and destructive, why it is that most of your blog fails to mention the greater world of Armies, Paramilitaries, gangs, and police who are literally guilty of killing people, destroying their houses, taking their property, and – as you freely admit – infiltrating their groups for the purposes of interfering in their political associations. Seems to me that Anarchist radicals can’t be accused of most of that list. Perhaps you just prefer to target folks without real power and merely pretend that you challenge those who do have power.

    • admin says:

      Mr. Hendricks, it’s good to know (assumption based on your availability to comment) you’re on the streets instead of in custody for documenting a court proceeding. Was the matter dismissed, or were you simply allowed minimal bail or released on your personal recognizance? As a news gatherer (an unfairly biased one according to you), I abhor such oppressive court rules where there has been no disruption or distraction from the proceedings. So, best of luck on that (if fortune has not already blessed you) and please keep us posted on the status.

      In an effort to respond to some of your arguments or the points you’ve raised (especially the disingenuous ones), the following will have to do for now.

      “Libel” (which you appear to be obsessed with) for quoting another, not promoting it, doesn’t rise to the level which include the necessary elements, not even vicarious libel, where the citation is used as reference and (as in this instance) the article is critical of it. It is precisely the ‘snitch hunting’ (which you seem to condone, IMO) which is being criticized. That criticism is less cogent in the abstract. Illustrations are windows to understanding. The ‘snitch list’ maintained by Earth First!, et ux, is repugnant and amounts to a call to action. It reflects badly on that publication, which otherwise is doing some important work.

      You suggest this community blog targets only the weak and oppressed. Your reading here must be highly selective and narrow. Walmart has been criticized. The excesses of police are endlessly criticized. The corruption in our court system (along with incompetence) has been almost hysterically criticized. Vacuous/greedy lawyers have been named and hammered. Not as much screen space has been given to the current federal administration–others are more than taking on that task. Still, if you had bothered to read the articles other than just the ones referencing your p@ls, you’d find a number of articles calling for justice against high level war criminals in this country. You’d find other articles pronouncing Snowden a national hero. This is hardly the indices of a publication that targets the weak and oppressed–far from it. You’ll find articles describing the plight of the homeless, the poor, the dispossessed, the innocent detainees, the sat upon, spat upon, ratted on.

      Your misapprehensions or deliberately obtuse analysis aside, you’re correct on at least one important point, though you fail to adequately describe it. The power of the press should be levied in favor of the oppressed, the poor, the dispossessed more than the wealthy, the comfortable, the powerful. Equally as important, in order to keep even a scintilla of credibility, the press must remain ultra-independent and not be seen to be in anyone’s camp. It cannot become a propaganda organ for any political interest group.

      You’ve characterized your p@ls as an oppressed minority, a targeted group, an innocent collection of people who want nothing more than to improve the human condition in this nation. You imply criticism of them is somehow unjust. Perhaps you can be disabused of this notion. Careful distinctions have consistently been attempted here to distinguish between violent self described @narchists and those who do not attempt to terrorize the populace, destroy property, assault/rob/threaten photojournalists, or openly declare war on this nation, its laws, it’s people, this society, and even civilization itself. Those who deny the very existence of ‘rights’ (civil and/or human) are justly condemned here.

      The problem of competing analysis here, given your take, appears to be one of you conflating @narchists (spied upon or not) with the dispossessed, poor, homeless, and oppressed. The truth is closer to these being lifestyle @narchists who manipulate the aforementioned groups to do their dirty work. One aspect that’s particularly odious is how they manipulate the mentally disturbed. This is criticized and condemned here no matter how much government agents spy on them. In this context, that surveillance is justified. The government would be justly condemned if it did not monitor such dangerous elements as much as it would if it did not monitor organized crime. In fact, it is the fear of being discovered as participants in crime that drives the @narchist’s cries of outrage over being watched.

      You properly criticize the police who are guilty of brutality, denial of civil rights, even murder and too often escape justice for the fact they’re LEO’s, a virtual privileged ‘class’ or organized ‘gang’ depending on how you look at it. Since you’re posting comments here, you must be able to read what’s here. Yet you unfairly criticize this publication for not focusing on the atrocious behavior and militarization of our police. That’s contrary to fact–self evident upon perusing what is published here–in spades! The publisher, photojournalists, and editor here have assumed considerable risk to bring these facts to the attention of the public. This will continue–WITHOUT FEAR NOR FAVOR!

      What rubs you the wrong way is the failure of this publication to draw a distinction between violent self described @narchists and the police. That’s because it’s a distinction without a meaningful difference. Both groups are violent. Both destroy property, assault citizens and photojournalists, justify their excesses with arguments of how the ends justify the means (the law must be broken to enforce it/bring about justice), both ignore fundamental liberty interests and ‘rights’ of others, and both are threats to the people given these violations/excesses. Honestly, where is the difference between the two? Violent @narchists are street thugs just as their violent LEO counterparts are. A pox on BOTH their houses! They’re BOTH enemies of the people.

      This publication and its author(s) have virtually no power whatsoever save the inherent inalienable right to speak, persuade (hopefully), to document, and to publish. That’s it! It’s about as asymmetrical a relationship as when Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. There is nothing to protect photojournalists other than our system of laws. Journalists cannot rely on special/political interest groups to protect them because any effort to do so destroys the credibility of those journalists…it makes their words, their documentation, their articles meaningless and suspect. WITHOUT FEAR NOR FAVOR–that’s journalism.

      “Journalism is printing what someone doesn’t want published. Everything else is public relations.” -G. Orwell-

      This publication condemns ‘snitch hunting’. It especially condemns the vilification of those subjected to the tortures available to the government when defendants face its criminal ‘justice’ system. Even Al Qaida operatives break under torture (e.g. ‘water boarding’, extraordinary rendition, being kept in isolation/incommunicado for years combined with sensory deprivation, personal/sexual humiliation, etc. etc. etc). It’s unjust and self defeating to vilify previous allies because they’re human and break down under government’s carefully orchestrated torture protocols. Those self righteous airheads who do so are properly condemned here. The quoting of Earth First!’s entire published ‘snitch list’ is also intended to illustrate how almost all of the so called ‘snitches’ come from the very ranks of p@ls you attempt to defend. They’re not ‘snitches’ at all, but broken human beings who have been tortured. Very few can bear up under such duress/torture and shouldn’t really be expected to. You’ve seen the notorious photos of the torture sessions at Abu Graib prison while it was under U.S. control. How long do you think YOU could withstand such abuse?

      Instead of carping about an analysis that conflicts with your own, why don’t you try searching for common cause such as those with real power who abuse it and are destroying America?

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