TWO IN CUSTODY AFTER URGING CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF ELF TRANSMITTER
CONTACT: Bonnie Urfer or Barb Katt at NUKEWATCH Phone: (715) 472-4185
TUESDAY MARCH 13, 2001
ASHLAND, WI -- In commemoration of the 32nd anniversary of United States' approval of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, two area residents delivered a formal 82-page complaint to Ashland County and its Sheriff's Department alleging that the Navy's ELF facility near Clam Lake operates in violation of the 1968 Treaty and Wisc. Statutes 832.113 and 939.22. The complaint asks that the Sheriff's Department and the Ashland County District Attorney investigate and prosecute the commission of a criminal conspiracy to commit mass destruction with nuclear weapons.
The Navy transmitter sends one-way commands to submerged missile-firing Trident submarines around the world.
Upon delivery of the complaint, John Heid, 46, of Duluth, Minn. and John LaForge, 45, of Luck, Wisc. were taken into custody by Ashland County deputies on warrants for nonpayment of fines stemming from protest violations at the ELF transmitter.
The two are expected to be released in mid-May.
Two other anti-nuclear weapons activists were convicted Feb. 21 in Madison federal court of criminal damage to the facility. Bonnie Urfer, of Luck, WI, and Michael Sprong, of Marion, SD, face sentencing May 4. The federal misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
The ELF transmitter has been the object of longstanding opposition. Over 550 trespass citations have been issued to activists at the site since the end of the Cold War and the former Soviet threat in 1991.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty says in part, "Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament." The United States reaffirmed the treaty in 1995.
You can write to John LaForge and John Heid at:
Ashland County Jail
221 E. 7th Street
Ashland, WI 54806
Note: You must have your complete name and address on the outside of the envelope or mail will not be delivered to prisoners.
The release date for both is May 12.