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Officials: Earth Liberation Front members indicted in fire

  • Story Highlights
  • 3 Michigan residents and an Ohio resident named in conspiracy, arson counts
  • They are said to have set fire to an agriculture research building at Michigan State
  • Fire nine years ago caused $1 million in damage and loss of research records
  • Michigan State Police chief called fire 'a significant act of domestic terrorism'
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Four people said to have acted on behalf of the Earth Liberation Front have been indicted on a charge of setting fire to an agriculture research building on the Michigan State University campus more than eight years ago, authorities announced Tuesday.

Three Detroit, Michigan, residents and a Cincinnati, Ohio, resident were named in conspiracy and arson counts for a fire at a campus facility that housed federally funded plant genetic research.

Officials said the December 31,1999, fire on the East Lansing campus caused more than $1 million in damage to facilities and the loss of research records.

They also are accused of setting fire the next day to commercial logging equipment near Mesick, Michigan, in order to sabotage lumbering activity.

"This investigation has been ongoing for almost a decade, and it should be a reminder to all that the FBI does not allow the passage of time to thwart our ability to apply our full resources to a case," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena.

Michigan State Police Chief James Dunlap called the case "a significant act of domestic terrorism."

"This was more than an attack on a building and the destruction of valuable property," MSU President Lou Anna Simon said. "It was an assault on the core value of free and open inquiry at a research university."

Officials said those named in the indictment are Marie Mason, 46, of Cincinnati; and Frank Ambrose, 33, Aren Burthwick, 27, and Stephanie Fultz, 27, all of Detroit. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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