Eight Accused of Nine-Year Murder, Bombing and Robbery Spree
BOSTON (AP) _ A federal grand jury has indicted eight people on charges of participating in a nine-year conspiracy of bombings, murder and bank robbery as members of two terrorist groups, authorities said today.
U.S. Attorney William Weld said the five men and three women have been linked to the 1981 murder of a New Jersey state trooper, the attempted murder of three other police officers, 19 bombings and attempted bombings and 10 bank robberies.
Jack Cloherty, a spokesman for the FBI, said all of the eight have previously been convicted of other federal charges and are in various federal prisons.
In the indictment handed up Wednesday, the grand jury alleged that the eight had formed the core of the ″Sam Melville-Jonathan Jackson Unit″ and the ″United Freedom Front,″ two terrorist groups that for years had conspired to overthrow the United States government, Weld said.
According to the indictment, the group was responsible for the bombing of the Suffolk County Courthouse here in 1976, which injured 22 people. Other targets included three Mobil Oil Corp. facilities, in Wakefield, Waltham and at the company’s Northeast regional office in Eastchester, N.Y., in 1979.
Other targets were an IBM office in Harrison, N.Y., in 1982 and a separate IBM office in Harrison two years later, as well as South Africa Airways in Elmont, N.Y., in 1982; Honeywell Corp. in New York City in 1984; General Electric Corp. in Melville, N.Y., in 1984 and Union Carbide Corp. in Tarrytown, N.Y., in 1984.
Weld identified the eight as Raymond Luc Levasseur, 39, of Calais, Maine; Patricia Helen Gros, 31, of Calais; Thomas William Manning, 39, of Sanford, Maine; Carol Ann Manning, 31, of Sanford; Jaan Karl Laaman, 38, of East Boston; Barbara J. Curzi, 28, of East Boston; Richard Charles Williams, 38, of Boston and Christopher Everett King, 36, of Cambridge.
Each was charged with two counts under federal racketeering statutes and one count of conspiracy to overthrow the United States government by force. If convicted of the charges, the maximum penalty could be 60 years in prison and a $70,000 fine.
Because all of the accused already are in federal prisons, no arraignment dates were immediately set.
According to the indictment, Lavasseur, the Mannings and Ms. Gros formed the ″Sam Melville-Jonathan Jackson Unit″ in 1974 for the purpose of overthrowing the government. Laaman and King joined the group in 1980; Williams in 1981 and Ms. Curzi a year later.
The government said the purpose of the group was to ″bomb corporate, government and military buildings, to issue ‘communiques’ after each bombing expressing the purpose of the bombing and inciting others to similar acts of violence, and to rob banks in order to finance the group’s activities.″
The group held organized weapons practice ″in anticipation of armed confrontation with police and other law enforcement officers,″ the government said.
The indictment alleges that Williams and Manning killed New Jersey State Trooper Philip Lamonaco in 1981, and that King and Laaman attempted to murder two Massachusetts state police officers in 1982.