An 81-year-old Tacoma Catholic priest is one of five people indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with a Nov. 5 protest at Naval Base Kitsap’s Bangor complex.
The Rev. Williams J. Bichshel and the others faces charges of conspiracy, trespass, destruction of property on a naval installation, and depredation (plunder) of government property.
They are set to be arraigned Sept. 24 in U.S. District Court in Tacoma . The other defendants are Stephen M. Kelly, 60, of Oakland, Calif.; Susan S. Crane, 65, of Baltimore; Anne Montgomery, 83, of New York City; and Lynne T. Greenwald, 60, of Bremerton. They were not in custody.
Group members used bolt cutters to cut holes in three chain-link fences to enter a secure area at the base, according to the indictment. Armed military personnel arrested them.
“All citizens are free to disagree with their government. But they are not free to destroy property or risk the safety of others,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in a news release.
“These defendants quite literally crossed the line and must be held accountable,” Durkan said.
The defendants face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if they’re convicted on all charges, according to the news release . However, maximum sentences in these types of cases are rare, a U.S. Attorney spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Neither the defendants nor their attorneys could be reached Tuesday.