China Jails Radical US Environmentalist
He is sentenced to 3 years in prison on drug charges
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2009 3:14 PM CST
This file photo shows several burned buildings and vehicles at a tree nursery May 21, 2001, in Clatskanie, Ore. The fires were blamed on the Earth Liberation Front.   (AP Photo/Oregon State Police)

(Newser) – An environmental activist from New Jersey who faces arson charges in the US has been sentenced to 3 years in prison in China on drug charges. Justin Solondz, 30, had been hiding out under a pseudonym in the mountainous town of Dali, which the New York Times describes as a "backpacker haven." Authorities say he had 33 pounds of pot buried in his yard and a drug lab inside his rented house. He pleaded guilty and has asked to be deported to the US.

Whenever he does return to the US, Solondz faces charges for his role in a series of arson attacks in May of 2001 that caused $5 million in property damage in Seattle, Oregon, and California. Solondz, who is on the FBI's Most Wanted List, belonged to an offshoot of the radical Earth Liberation Front called the Family. His former girlfriend is now serving 6 years for her role in the fires.

 

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