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Ex-Boy Scout sentenced for environmental crimes

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A former Boy Scout with ties to a radical environmentalist group was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for vandalizing sport-utility vehicles and trying to blow up construction equipment.

Aaron L. Linas, who was 17 at the time of the vandalism spree, pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy charges, and was sentenced Monday.

Prosecutors said Linas was a member of the Earth Liberation Front, an international underground organization that the FBI says has caused more than $100 million in damage since 1996. The group has claimed responsibility for dozens of crimes, including setting logging trucks on fire and spray-painting SUVs.

Linas, now 19, and co-defendants John B. Wade and Adam V. Blackwell unsuccessfully tried to blow up construction vehicles at a shopping center in suburban Richmond, prosecutors said. They also used glass-etching cream to deface restaurants and 25 SUVs at a car dealership.