SEATTLE—The father of an American wanted for ecoterrorism attacks in the western United States said Saturday that his son was sentenced to prison in China after pleading guilty to drug charges in that country.
Justin Franchi Solondz, 30, was sentenced Friday at a court in Dali, a city in southwestern China’s Yunnan province, according to Chinese and American officials. His father, Paul Solondz, said his son pleaded guilty last month.
Solondz told The Associated Press that Justin was arrested in China during a drug sweep in March, and authorities later found 33 pounds of marijuana leaves buried in the courtyard of a home he rented.
Justin, a former student at The Evergreen State College in Olympia who grew up in Randolph, N.J., was indicted in California and Washington state in 2006 in connection with a series of arsons attributed to “the Family,” a collection of radical environmentalists aligned with the Animal and Earth Liberation Fronts, from 1996-2001.
Attacks by the group caused more than $80 million in damage, according to the FBI, which called Justin a domestic terrorist. Prosecutors say he used timers, plastic containers and fuel-filled bladders to build incendiary devices used in one of the most notorious blazes, the May 2001 destruction of the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture.
…Prosecutors in the United States say that Justin was involved in arsons at the Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Corral in Susanville, Calif., and at a Monsanto Corp. canola field in Dusty, Wash. He was charged with girdling about 800 hybrid poplar trees on Oregon State University property, and with making incendiary devices used to destroy several buildings at a poplar farm in Clatskanie, Ore., the same night as the university fire. MORE