The Unfolding Case against Daniel McGowan


Daniel McGowan

New York, New York, U.S. - In a very unusual turn of events the government disclosed some interesting facts about there case against Daniel McGowan when his transfer/detention hearing began in federal court on Thursday, December 8th. Daniel was represented by attorney, Martin Stolar, president of the New York chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. Five members of his very supportive and close knit family where in attendance as well as his long-time girlfriend and about 25 friends and co-workers who, many of whom only learned of his arrest hours prior.

His lawyer was able to meet with Daniel briefly before the hearing and passed a message from him along to those that had come to court. Daniel maintains that he is innocent and has no idea what this is all about. He denies ever being a member of the Earth Liberation Front. His family was able to offer a 1 million dollar bond backed up by 3/4 of a million dollars in equity to secure his release. They were later able to raise their offer to 1.2 million dollars.

The magistrate heard arguments from the assistant U.S. attorney that claimed Daniel is a flight risk and may flee in the face of the threat of life in prison. Stolar emphasised that Daniel would not run and allow the government to seize his entire family's assets and property leaving them "homeless and penniless". He implied that the charges that could leave Daniel with a life sentence would not hold up and made a reference to the joke that a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich.

The state's attorney alleged that Daniel was a member of the Earth Liberation Front, an environmental group that commits acts of sabotage and property destruction. He said that this group has "extensive networks throughout the world and has experience secreting people". He went on to allege that Daniel had made use of these secret networks before in 2001 to "hideout" in Canada for six months.

Daniel's Irish ethnicity was also brought up by the state's attorney as evidence that he is a flight risk. Stolar asserted that all of Daniel's relatives in Ireland had passed away and that FBI had confiscated his passport.

Eugene Police Department Detective and Sheriffs Deputy Gregory Scott Harvey was sworn in and took the stand in a very unusual move to support this claim. Detective Harvey asserted that in April of 2005 in northern Manhattan a person wearing a recording device stood near Daniel as he spoke on the phone and recounted leaving Eugene, where he lived at the time, because it was "too hot". Detective Harvey was operating in New York at the time under the jurisdiction of the FBI. Harvey stated that Daniel was in Canada for portions of late June and July of 2001 although there were no records of him leaving the country at that time.

The Detective also alleged that Daniel hid out in a house on River Road on the outskirts of Eugene for a period with six other individuals responsible for the fire. He claimed that although Daniel has been working for years under his legal name and using his social security number they were not able to find him because Daniel went by a number of different names including Jamie Moran during the five year period following the crime.

Daniel was scheduled to participate in the Grassroots Animal Rights Conference in northern Manhattan in April 2005. At the weekend long conference at least two individuals who were thought to be law enforcement officers were asked to leave.

The state's case that Daniel was a flight risk rested so heavily on Detective Harvey's recorded conversation that the magistrate agreed to hear the tape. The hearing was adjourned and continued until the next day. The magistrate's mind seemed made up on by the following day's hearing and no bail was set.

Daniel was denied bail by a magistrate and not a judge which means that he has an opportunity to appeal the magistrates denial of bail to a judge. He is currently being detained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center of New York where he can be reached by mail. His family has organized a support committee made up of his friends and supporters they can be contacted at FriendsofDanielMcG@yahoo.com.