Canadian man pleads guilty in pipeline plot

Posted: Monday, March 17, 2008

SANTA FE - A Canadian man pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to a terrorism charge for plotting to blow up the trans-Alaska oil pipeline at the 2000 millennium.

"Guilty," Alfred Heinz Reumayr quietly told a judge, to one count of an eight-count indictment handed up in 1999.

Reumayr, 58, of New Westminster, British Columbia, faces 13 years in prison under a plea agreement accepted Thursday by U.S. District Judge Bruce Black.

The sentence won't be final until a sentencing hearing, which Reumayr's lawyer said could be held this summer.

Prosecutors say Reumayr planned a series of explosions along the trans-Alaska pipeline system in early January 2000 aimed at disrupting the oil supply from northern to southern Alaska. He wanted to drive up the price of oil in order to profit from the sale of previously purchased oil and gas futures, authorities said.

Had it been successful, it would have had "an enormous negative economic and environmental impact on the United States and Canada," said William Newell, special agent in charge of the Phoenix field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Authorities said Reumayr sought help with the scheme from a former Green Beret and explosives expert with whom he had served time in a Texas prison. Jim Paxton of Albuquerque - who is now deceased - went to ATF and became an informant in the case.

He and Reumayr corresponded by e-mail, using an informal code in which they discussed a fishing trip.

Reumayr has been in custody since August 1999. He lost his fight against extradition to the U.S. in 2006, when the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed his appeal.

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