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NEW JERSEY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO 2003 ECO-TERROR ARSON AT SEATTLE McDONALD'S RESTAURANT– FACES 8-10 YEARS IN PRISON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2005

CHRISTOPHER W. McINTOSH, 23, of Maple Shade, New Jersey pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to Arson. McINTOSH was arrested in February 2005 in connection with the January 20, 2003 arson of the McDonald's restaurant at 222 5th Avenue North in Seattle. Under the terms of the plea agreement, McINTOSH faces eight to ten years in prison when sentenced on December 16, 2005 by U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly. Should Judge Zilly impose a sentence outside the eight to ten year range, either party could withdraw from the plea agreement.

According to the complaint, fire broke out on the roof of the McDonald's restaurant near the foot of the Seattle Space Needle at about 1:50 a.m. on January 20, 2003. A witness at the scene reported seeing a thin man, 15-22 years-old, dressed in dark clothing and carrying a backpack fleeing from the roof of the restaurant. A number of items were found on the roof, including a black gym bag that contained a gas can, hacksaw, sunglasses and a can of spray paint.

A few hours after the fire, McINTOSH placed an anonymous call to the Seattle Arson tip line from a public pay phone. McINTOSH claimed to have set the fire on behalf of the ELF (Earth Liberation Front) and ALF (Animal Liberation Front). In the phone call McINTOSH also conveyed certain information about the fire scene that had not been disclosed publicly. The fire did approximately $5,000 damage to the restaurant. Evidence at the scene, including fingerprints and DNA evidence, links McINTOSH to the fire. Records at a Seattle youth center indicate McINTOSH was living in the area at the time of the fire.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Andrew C. Friedman prosecuted the case.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington, at 206-553-4110.

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