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Activist pleads guilty to arson against government animal processing facilities in Pacific Northwest

Cases from nearly 30 years ago were stalled as suspect remained at-large outside of U.S.

April 23, 2022 12:29pm

Updated: April 23, 2022 12:31pm

A suspect in a series of destructive crimes in the Pacific Northwest plead guilty to arson and conspiracy charges in federal court this week, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Fifty-three-year-old Joseph Dibee “pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson and arson in the District of Oregon and conspiracy to commit arson in the Eastern District of California,” the Justice Department said in a press release.

The DOJ said that, in a roughly 10-year-long period beginning in 1996, Dibee “and at least 15 other individuals affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front … knowingly conspired with one another to damage or destroy various commercial and government-owned properties.”

Those properties included a meat packing plant and “ a government-owned facility used to remove wild horses from public lands.” 

Prosecutors are seeking a little over seven years in prison for Dibee, who will be sentenced in July. 

Dibee had fled the United States in 2005 and was arrested by Cuban authorities in 2018.

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