Rebecca Rubin sentenced to 5 years for ALF & ELF arsons


After 7 years on the run, an ALF saboteur is sentenced for freeing horses, more.

After turning herself in in 2012 following 7 years on the run, and pleading guilty last October, this week Rebecca Rubin was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison. The sentence is much less than the 7.5 years the government was requesting.

In the media, the arson elements of her charges overshadowed the two actions in which she admitted to freeing wild horses from BLM corrals, where the horses were to be auctioned for slaughter.

Rubin was sentenced for four Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front actions:

  •  Freeing 400 wild horses from a federal land management corral in Oregon as others set the property on fire (1998)
  • Bringing gasoline to a ski resort under construction in Vail, Colo., later used to ignite fires that destroyed the ski complex (1998)
  • Bringing incendiary devices to the Medford, Ore., office of U.S. Forest Industries, which were later used in an arson fire (1998)
  • Freeing wild horses from a California BLM facility as others set fire to a barn (2001)
In a letter to the judge, Rubin wrote:
“Animals and the natural world have always been for me a source of profound joy, wonder and solace, and their mistreatment and destruction a source of indescribable pain. By way of trying to explain–but not excuse–my actions, I reached a point in my early twenties when I could longer contain or appropriately channel the grief, despair, and powerlessness I felt in response to the mistreatment of animals and the natural world.”
She will also be on probation after she leaves prison, and must make monthly payments toward a restitution bill of over $13 million.
During the sentencing, the judge also drew attention by asking Rubin to read Malcom Gladwell’s latest book, David and Goliath, which she said would could teach her about “non-violent” means of protest.

Related posts:

  1. Rebecca Rubin pleads guilty to freeing horses and setting fires at wild horse corrals
  2. After Six Years, ALF/ELF Fugitive Rebecca Rubin Turns Herself In
  3. Lead informant in ALF / ELF Cases Sentenced to 5 Years


ALF prisoner expected to serve 5 to 7.5 years for freeing horses, setting fires at two government facilities.

Earlier this year, Rebecca Rubin turned herself in after 7 years on the run. She was wanted for Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front arsons as part of what was dubbed the “Green Scare case”, in which 13 people were charged with nearly 20 fires.

This week, Rebecca Rubin plead guilty to participating in and/or planning four arsons:

  • 1997: Freeing 400 wild horses and setting fire to a U.S. Bureau of Land management corral in Burns, Oregon. (Claimed by the Animal Liberation Front)
  • 1998: Participating in the planning of a fire at a Vail ski resort in Colorado.
  • 1998: Fire at the headquarters of U.S. Forest Industries in Medford, Oregon (claimed by the Earth Liberation Front)
  • 2001: Freeing horses and setting fire to a BLM horse and burro corral at Litchfield, California. (Claimed by the Animal Liberation Front)

Rubin was a fugitive for 7 years. Reportedly, she was set to turn herself in as early as 2009, however prosecutors would not agree to any plea agreement that did not involve Rubin implicating her codefendants, which Rubin refused to do.

According to her plea agreement, the government will not ask the judge for a sentence longer than 7.5 years. Her sentencing is set for Jan. 27

Of the 13 charged, two remain fugitives: Joseph Dibee and Josephine Sunshine Overaker.


After Six Years ALF/ELF Fugitive Rebacca Rubin turns herself in

Rubin expected to plead guilty to all but the most serious of her charges.

This has been all over the news the last two days, so I’m just going to focus on two things here: The basics, and the parts of this story so far that might have been easy to miss.

The surrender
Rebecca Rubin turned herself in to US authorities this week after six years on the run (the media has erroneously reported she has been a fugitive for 10 years). She was one of three remaining fugitives in the Operation Backfire case, in which 14 people were charged with a massive ALF / ELF arson campaign over a five year period.

The charges
Rubin is charged with two ALF actions and two ELF actions. The ALF actions are the Nov. 30, 1997, arson at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Facility near Burns, Oregon and setting a fire at the BLM Litch­field Wild Horse and Burro Corrals near Susanville, Calif in 2001. The ELF actions are the arson at a ski lodge in Vail, Colorado in 1998, and the Dec. 22, 1998, attempted arson at the offices of U.S. Forest Industries Inc. in Medford.

Three years in the works
According to her attorney, Rubin has been attempting to negotiate surrender since 2009, pending the prosecutors in every jurisdiction agreeing to a plea deal. One jurisdiction was said to have “balked” at any talk of negotiations, which delayed Rubin’s surrender for three years.

Not assisting the government
She is said to not be assisting the government in locating the last two fugitives in the case: Joseph Dibee and Josephine Sunshine Overaker.

Guilty plea expected in all but the most serious charges
In advance of her surrender, she reportedly arranged a plea deal in which she will plead guilty to all but the most serious of charges against her. She will not be pleading guilty to use of a destructive device, which carries a mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison.

I don’t need to say that life as a fugitive can run a wide spectrum, but it is never easy, and she still has a hard road ahead. To send a letter of support, as of December 2nd, she can be written at:

Rebecca Rubin 98290-011
P.O. BOX 13900
SEATTLE, WA  98198