3 plead guilty to eco-vandalism against SUVs

Chicago Sun Times/January 3, 2004

Richmond, Va. -- Three young men pleaded guilty to vandalizing more than 25 sport-utility vehicles, construction equipment and building sites on behalf of a radical environmental group.

The three, who were in high school at the time of the attacks in the Richmond suburbs in 2002, face up to five years in prison at sentencing in April. Under the plea agreement announced Monday, they must also repay more than $200,000.

The three were affiliated with the group Earth Liberation Front.

Adam Blackwell, 20, and Aaron Linas and John Wade, both 18, vandalized construction equipment being used to build a mall, defaced 25 SUVs at a car dealership and several more vehicles at homes, and defaced three fast-food restaurants, prosecutors said.

They scrawled graffiti and left notes that accused the victims of harming the environment and contributing to suburban sprawl.

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