WADENA, Minnesota — Five people were arrested Friday, July 23, in connection to a protest of the Enbridge Line 3 project in Wadena County.
The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office, along with several other law enforcement agencies, responded at 4 a.m. to the Enbridge Line 3 project. Upon arrival, deputies were alerted by construction workers of several individuals attempting to breach the fencing around the construction site.
By the time the deputies got to the individuals, several had already climbed over the fence and made their way into the construction area, the Northern Lights Task Force reported in a news release. Four of the individuals were able to lock themselves to equipment on site, while a fifth was apprehended and arrested by deputies on scene. Several others fled the scene from deputies into the nearby wooded area. A specially trained extrication team was called to the scene and removed all individuals from the equipment.
The five individuals, who were taken into custody, were charged Monday, July 27, in Wadena County District Court and were identified as Randy Navarrete, 31, Utah; Caleb Django Schwartz, Tarrytown, New York; Joel David Atkinson, 31, Albany, New Hampshire; Claire Elena Pryor, 21, Ashland, Oregon; and Sarah Isabel Contreras, 24, Berkeley, California.
Four of the five individuals secured themselves to equipment and were charged with felony theft, gross misdemeanor trespassing and two misdemeanors of unlawful assembly and obstructing the legal process. Schwartz was charged with gross misdemeanor trespass and misdemeanor unlawful assembly.
Those charged with felonies received conditions and were ordered to post $1,000 bail/bond by the court prior to release. Schwartz received conditions and was ordered to pay $500 bail/bond by the court prior to release. All had their bail/bond amounts posted and were released from custody, the task force reported.