PORTLAND - Fugitive environmental activist Tre Arrow is back in the United States to stand trial on conspiracy and arson charges after nearly four years in a Canadian prison.
Arrow, 34, formerly Michael James Scarpitti, was indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2004 following his arrest in Victoria, British Columbia, on local charges of shoplifting, assault and obstructing a police officer after a security guard caught him trying to steal a pair of bolt cutters.
Arrow pleaded guilty to the Canadian charges but fought extradition by seeking asylum, claiming he faced political persecution in the United States.
The 14-count indictment charges Scarpitti with taking part in the destruction of several concrete-mixing trucks at Ross Island Sand and Gravel Company in Portland in April 2001. He's also accused of destroying logging trucks at Schoppert Logging Co. in Eagle Creek near Mount Hood in June 2001.
Arrow, who legally changed his name from Scarpitti, has said trees told him to make the change. He earned fame among activists when he scaled the offices of the U.S. Forest Service in Portland in the summer of 2000 to protest logging on Mount Hood, perching on a ledge for 11 days.
He often walked barefoot to show his concern for the Earth, and adhered to a strict raw-food diet.
Arrow also ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate, winning nearly 16,000 votes. He was injured in October 2001, suffering a broken pelvis when he fell 65 feet from a tree after a two-day standoff with police and loggers in the Tillamook State Forest.
Scarpitti was brought to Portland by the U.S. Marshals Service and faces arraignment in U.S. District Court on Monday, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Portland.
The British Columbia Supreme Court approved his extradition in July 2005 but Scarpitti objected, leading to an April 2006 order by the Canadian Minister of Justice that he surrender to U.S. authorities.
The Court of Appeal of British Columbia denied his next appeal of the extradition on Oct. 19, 2007, and Scarpitti sought no further review in Canada.
Three other defendants in the case - Jacob Sherman, Jeremy Rosenbloom, and Angela Cesario - pleaded guilty to arson charges and have completed service of their 41-month federal prison terms.