DENVER – Walter Bond, aka “Lone Wolf,” age 34, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was sentenced this afternoon to serve 60 months (5 years) in federal prison for use of fire or explosives to damage and destroy property in interstate commerce, and for the use of force, violence and threats involving an Animal Enterprise, United States Attorney John Walsh, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Marvin Richardson, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Rankin announced. The sentenced was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello. Following his term of incarceration, Bond was ordered to serve 3 years on supervised release. He was also ordered to pay over $1,170,253.18 in restitution to the victim of the crime. Bond, who appeared in custody, was remanded following the sentencing hearing.
Walter Edmund Bond was first charged by Criminal Complaint on July 23, 2010. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on July 27, 2010. He pled guilty on November 18, 2010. He was sentenced on February 11, 2011.
According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, on April 30, 2010, at about 3:30 a.m., a fire occurred at the Sheepskin Factory, located at 510 South Colorado Boulevard in Glendale, Colorado. The Sheepskin Factory is a commercial retail business that uses and sells animal products for profit. The fire destroyed the building and its contents, resulting in approximately $500,000 in damages.
Investigators at the scene of the fire determined the fire was incendiary and had been intentionally set. Video footage from a business next to the Sheepskin Factory showed a person wearing a dark, long sleeve hooded shirt and carrying a dark colored backpack walking toward the Sheepskin Factory right before the fire was set. The general height and weight of the person from the video appears to match that of the defendant.
After the fire, Bond posted a message on the internet taking responsibility for the Sheepskin Factory fire. At the end of that message the defendant used the nickname “ALF Lone Wolf.” Bond later contacted an old acquaintance, traveling from Salt Lake City to Denver for a meeting. As a result of that meeting, agents and investigators determined that Bond targeted the Sheepskin Factory because it represented animals that wolves typically hunt. They also learned that the defendant broke into the Sheepskin Factory through the back door to light the fire. When agents arrested the defendant, he had a dark colored backpack with him.
“The defendant in this case stands convicted of using violence to destroy a business in Denver,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “His claimed ‘cause’ is mere pretext: The evidence in this case demonstrates that he has a history of committing crimes involving fire before he ever began advocating animal rights. The sentence in this case sends a strong message that violence is never an acceptable road to change in our democracy.”
“Arson is a violent crime that often results in catastrophic loss of life and property,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Marvin Richardson. “Arson related crime remains one of ATF’s highest investigative priorities. This investigation was a collaborative interagency effort and we are gratified with the successful prosecution and conviction.”
“Preventing and pursuing domestic terrorism – those acts of violence committed in furtherance of a political or social agenda – remains one of the top priorities of the FBI,” said Michael Rankin, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Denver Division of the FBI. “This sentencing demonstrates again that the FBI and our Joint Terrorism Task Force partners remain dedicated and determined to work together to bring to justice those who would resort to acts of violence.”
This case was investigated by the ATF, FBI, Denver Fire Department, and the Glendale Police Department.
Bond was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Holloway.