Michigan man admits to decades-old ALF-related attacks, including one at WSU

A Michigan man who denied firebombing an animal researcher’s laboratory at Michigan State University in 1992 even as he pleaded guilty now admits he carried out the attack and participated in others across the country, including in Washington.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — A man who denied firebombing an animal researcher’s laboratory at Michigan State University in 1992 even as he pleaded guilty now admits he carried out the attack and participated in others across the country.

Rodney Coronado told the Lansing State Journal he was a member of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) that targeted researchers and others they believed were mistreating animals.

“In my heart, I was deeply troubled,” said Coronado, who said he participated in a half-dozen attacks, including at Oregon State University, Washington State University and private fur farms in the early 1990s. “I wanted to do everything I could to try to stop it.”

The fire Coronado said he set by himself caused more than $1 million in damage at Michigan State, according to the newspaper’s archives, and destroyed 32 years of Richard Aulerich’s research on the natural mink population and a decade of work by researcher Karen Chou. Neither would discuss the fire.

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According to news reports, Coronado was living in Pullman in August 1991 when members of ALF broke into the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s animal-disease unit and released seven coyotes and six minks. Unlike some of the other attacks, however, no fire was set.

He was long a suspect in the break-in, but he told the newspaper that he was involved.

Coronado, now 50, was arrested in 1994. Facing up to 50 years, he agreed to plead guilty in Michigan in exchange for prosecutors dropping charges in other states. He was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison and ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution, though court records indicate he’s…

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