Walter Bond, also known as “Lone Wolf,” age 34, of Salt Lake City pleaded guilty to one count of use of fire or explosives to damage and destroy property in interstate commerce, and one count of force, violence and threats involving an animal enterprise. The fire at The Sheepskin Factory, which occurred on April 30th, 2010, completely destroyed the building and its contents, causing $500,000 in damage. When he appears in court for sentencing on February 11th, 2011, Bond faces between 5 and 20 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine for use of fire or explosives to damage and destroy property in interstate commerce. He also faces up to 10 years and up to a $250,000 fine for force, violence and threats involving an animal enterprise. Bond could also be ordered to pay restitution to the owner of The Sheepskin Factory, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
-- Read the original 10-page criminal complaint HERE.
Bond was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on July 27th, 2010, after he was identified as the person seen in surveillance video outside the company just before the fire broke out. In addition, Bond also posted a message on the Internet acknowledging responsibility for the fire. At the end of the message the defendant used the nickname "ALF Lone Wolf"; ALF is an acronym used by a group called the Animal Liberation Front. Agents then arranged for a confidential informant to meet with Bond in person. During their conversation, federal agents listened in as Bond claimed to use the nickname "Lone Wolf," described the Sheepskin Factory as a "box of matches," and vowed to torch the business again "in a couple of years."
Bond is also being investigated for two Utah blazes: a June 5th, 2010 fire at the Tandy Leather Factory on 1107 South State Street in Salt Lake City, and a July 3rd arson at the Tiburon restaurant, 8256 S. 700 East in Sandy, a restaurant that served foie gras — liver from a goose or duck that has been force-fed to fatten it up.
The Sheepskin Factory, once located at 510 S. Colorado Blvd in Glendale, CO, has long since been reconstituted at a nearby smaller facility on 4182 Virginia Ave. They make a variety of products, from seat covers, slippers, medical supplies and gloves to coats and hats. The Denver Post earlier published a story on their recovery efforts.