China Jails Environmentalist Wanted in U.S.

Justin Franchi Solondz, an American who is wanted by the FBI for eco-terrorism, has been sentenced in China to three years in prison for manufacturing drugs in Dali, Yunnan. The New York Times reports:

Mr. Solondz’s journey started in the fall of 2005, when he joined his mother in Italy for a wedding and then traveled around Europe and Asia. His parents say he stopped communicating with them in March 2006, just before the F.B.I. announced the charges.

The trail went cold until March 2009, when the Chinese police arrested Mr. Solondz here in the mountains of Yunnan Province after he was caught with drugs and fake Canadian identification, according to his parents. During a daylong trial last month, Mr. Solondz pleaded guilty to drug charges and asked to be deported to the United States.

According to his father, Paul Solondz, the Dali police said they discovered 33 pounds of marijuana buried in the courtyard of the house that the younger Mr. Solondz rented, as well as what the prosecutor described as a drug laboratory inside the house.

November 27, 2009 10:33 PM
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Categories: China & the World, Law