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.
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“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.