Orcas power station trespasser pleads not guilty

  • Tue Jun 17th, 2008 8:19pm
  • News

As reported in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Gabriel Mondragon, the 29-year old Orcas Island man who allegedly cut a high-voltage power line with a pole saw and lost his left arm in the process, faces 20 years in federal prison if found guilty of attempting to destroy an energy facility, which is a felony.

Mondragon was found by a lineman inside the fenced West Sound Orcas Power and Light Cooperative substation on March 15 with electrical burns on his arms and legs.

Mondragon told sheriff’s deputies that his action was “to protest the death of a whale named Luna and the depletion of the rain forests,” FBI Special Agent James Powers wrote in the criminal complaint read in the U.S. Magistrate’s hearing on April 29.

Luna was an orphaned orca living in Nootka Sound off Vancouver Island that gained notoriety because of extensive attempts to reunite him with his pod. The whale was killed in 2006 by a tugboat propeller.

Mondragon, who said he blamed “rich white people” and took the action to get them to pay attention, knocked out power to about 4,000 customers on Orcas and Shaw Islands shortly after 10 p.m. March 15. The outage lasted about 75 minutes, according to the complaint.

He was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center immediately after the incident and was not released until the day of the hearing.

Mondragon pleaded not guilty on May 6 to the charge and was released pending further court appearances.

As reported in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Gabriel Mondragon, the 29-year old Orcas Island man who allegedly cut a high-voltage power line with a pole saw and lost his left arm in the process, faces 20 years in federal prison if found guilty of attempting to destroy an energy facility, which is a felony.

Mondragon was found by a lineman inside the fenced West Sound Orcas Power and Light Cooperative substation on March 15 with electrical burns on his arms and legs.

Mondragon told sheriff’s deputies that his action was “to protest the death of a whale named Luna and the depletion of the rain forests,” FBI Special Agent James Powers wrote in the criminal complaint read in the U.S. Magistrate’s hearing on April 29.

Luna was an orphaned orca living in Nootka Sound off Vancouver Island that gained notoriety because of extensive attempts to reunite him with his pod. The whale was killed in 2006 by a tugboat propeller.

Mondragon, who said he blamed “rich white people” and took the action to get them to pay attention, knocked out power to about 4,000 customers on Orcas and Shaw Islands shortly after 10 p.m. March 15. The outage lasted about 75 minutes, according to the complaint.

He was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center immediately after the incident and was not released until the day of the hearing.

Mondragon pleaded not guilty on May 6 to the charge and was released pending further court appearances.