Feds free Algerian who played small role in bomb plot

SEATTLE — An Algerian convicted in the same plot to smuggle explosives into the United States as Ahmed Ressam has been released from federal custody.

The government agreed to Abdel Tizegha’s release largely because he cooperated in its prosecution of Ressam, who was arrested in December 1999 in Port Angeles with a trunkful of explosives smuggled in from Canada. Tizegha agreed to testify against Ressam, though he never actually did so.

Tizegha pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to forge immigration documents.

He is believed to have played a small role in the bomb plot, but details have not been made public.

Ressam was convicted in April of plotting to attack U.S. cities during millennium celebrations.

Blaze damages Internet cafe: Fire investigators continued to search on Saturday for the cause of a spectacular fire in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood north of downtown. The fire destroyed the vacant second floor of a two-story building that houses the Speakeasy Internet cafe. The cafe suffered water damage but was not burned, said Seattle Fire Department Lt. Sue Stangl. The cafe was open when the fire started in the southwest corner of the second floor, but everyone escaped the building and no one was hurt, Stangl said.

Murphy’s Law plagues felon: A man who accidentally shot himself in the leg was in jail Friday after Baker City police found drug paraphernalia in his clothing. Travis Lee Weems, 29, was walking on a muddy road near Pine Creek on Wednesday when he slipped and shot himself in his upper left leg with a .22-caliber handgun, police said. During a search of Weems’ clothing, police found a glass pipe containing methamphetamine. Weems also was wanted on an Wasco County warrant for failure to appear on charges of drug possession, police said. Because Weems is a convicted felon, he also was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Man pleads guilty to arson: A 21-year-old Eugene man was sentenced Friday to 7 1/2years in prison after he admitted to helping set fire to the house of a woman who had testified against his friend in a theft case. Charles Richard Gallegos Jr. pleaded guilty to first-degree arson to avoid trial on many more serious charges later this month. His friend, 24-year-old Kristian Villa, was sentenced earlier to 20 years in prison for plotting the Oct. 26 arson in west Eugene. The victim bought furniture from Villa that she later suspected had been stolen. She reported her suspicion and Villa was arrested for burglary and theft.

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