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Ex-tree-sitter sent to prison

Ex-tree-sitter sent to prison


Apr. 12, 2003
By Ken McLaughlin
Mercury News
A former Santa Cruz County tree-sitter who calls himself “Rampage” has been sentenced to three years in state prison for possessing the makings of a Molotov cocktail.
Matthew Gordon Lamont, 21, of Long Beach, was arrested last year in La Habra after he drove past a Moose Lodge set to host a meeting of white supremacists celebrating Hitler’s birthday.
La Habra police said lodge officials canceled the meeting after learning of the group’s intentions, but police found Lamont in a car on a side street. Smelling gas and tipped off by Long Beach police, officers found a plastic milk jug filled with gasoline, gasoline-soaked sponges, candles and cigarette lighters.
Lamont, who has become a cause célèbre among anarchist groups, pleaded guilty this week to four felony counts related to possessing and transporting an incendiary device. In sentencing him, Judge Carla Singer of Orange County Superior Court gave Lamont credit for the year he had already spent in county jail.
Lamont had made his fellow Earth First protesters nervous during a 2001 Boulder Creek tree-sit after he began scrawling terrorist threats and posing for pictures with a switchblade and black ski mask.
One graffito on his tree-sitting platform showed “Freddie the Forester” with a gun to the head and his brains coming out the left side. Next to a drawing of a Molotov cocktail, he wrote, “Save the Earth. Recycle glass bottles.”
Lamont left Santa Cruz County in late 2001. He didn’t show up for a court hearing on a trespassing charge, and Superior Court Commissioner Irwin Joseph issued a $350 bench warrant.
Contact Ken McLaughlin at kmclaughlin@mercurynews. com or (831) 423-3115

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