Walter Bond Pleads Guilty to Charges Related to the Arson of the Sheepskin Factory in Glendale
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 18, 2010|
DENVER—Walter Bond, aka “Lone Wolf,” age 34, of Salt Lake City, Utah, pled guilty this afternoon to one count of use of fire or explosives to damage and destroy property in interstate commerce, and one count of force, violence, and threats involving an animal enterprise, United States Attorney John Walsh, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Marvin Richardson, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge James Davis announced. The guilty plea was tendered before U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello. Judge Arguello is scheduled to sentence Bond on February 11, 2011.
Walter Edmund Bond was first charged by criminal complaint on July 23, 2010. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on July 27, 2010. He pled guilty today, November 18, 2010.
According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, on April 30, 2010, at about 3:30 a.m., a fire occurred at the Sheepskin Factory, located at 510 South Colorado Boulevard in Glendale, Colorado. The Sheepskin Factory is a commercial retail business that uses and sells animal products for profit. The fire destroyed the building and its contents, resulting in approximately $500,000 in damages.
Investigators at the scene of the fire determined the fire was incendiary and had been intentionally set. Video footage from a business next to the Sheepskin Factory showed a person wearing a dark, long sleeve hooded shirt and carrying a dark colored backpack walking toward the Sheepskin Factory right before the fire was set. The general height and weight of the person from the video appears to match that of the defendant.
After the fire, Bond posted a message on the internet taking responsibility for the Sheepskin Factory fire. At the end of that message the defendant used the nickname “ALF Lone Wolf.” Bond later contacted an old acquaintance, traveling from Salt Lake City to Denver for a meeting. As a result of that meeting, agents and investigators determined that Bond targeted the Sheepskin Factory because it represented animals that wolves typically hunt. They also learned that the defendant broke into the Sheepskin Factory through the back door to light the fire. When agents arrested the defendant, he had a dark colored backpack with him.
“An alleged political agenda never justifies violent criminal actions like those the defendant took in this case,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Those who resort to such actions will face resolute prosecution and significant prison time.”
“ATF is dedicated to safeguarding the American public by enforcing federal laws related to arson,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Marvin Richardson. “We take the crime of arson very seriously and will aggressively pursue those who choose to commit this cowardly act of violence.”
“This guilty plea is the result of the hard work and dedication of our agents and task force officers and the cumulative commitment of the FBI, ATF, Glendale Police Department, Denver Fire Department, and U.S. Attorney’s Office to aggressively investigate and prosecute those responsible for ideologically driven acts of force and violence,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James Davis. “Our priority with acts of terrorism remains to be proactive and preventive but when attacks do occur, they will be pursued to justice. The Joint Terrorism Task Force partners remain steadfastly committed, and continue to work together daily here in Colorado and around the country to ensure that citizens of this country are safe from terrorist threats of all kinds.”
Bond faces not less than five years and not more than 20 years’ imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine, for use of fire or explosives to damage and destroy property in interstate commerce. Bond also faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine for force, violence and threats involving an Animal Enterprise. He could also be ordered to pay restitution to the owner of the Sheepskin Factory.
This case was investigated by the ATF, FBI, Denver Fire Department, and the Glendale Police Department.
Bond is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Holloway.