Raymond Luc Levasseur
Raymond "Ray" Luc Levasseur (born October 10, 1946), of Sanford, Maine, was a member of the United Freedom Front, a militant Marxist organization that conducted a series of bombings throughout the United States from 1976 to 1984.
In 1965 Levasseur enlisted in the United States Army, and was sent to Vietnam two years later, for a 12 month tour of duty. He felt that this experience radicalized him — claiming that he experienced racism, and began to feel strong opposition to fighting against the Vietnamese, who he felt were struggling for their right to self-determination.
In 1969, Levasseur was arrested for attempting to sell six dollars' worth of marijuana to an undercover police officer. Even though he had no prior criminal history, due to his political activism, Levasseur was given the maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. He was sent to the Tennessee State Penitentiary, where he spent 2 years in solitary confinement, before being released on parole.
He then moved to Maine, where he began working with Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), and the Statewide Correctional Alliance for Reform (SCAR), a prisoners'-rights organization. It is while working with these activist groups in Maine, that Levasseur met his future wife, Pat Gros.
In 1975 Levasseur co-founded the Sam Melville/Jonathan Jackson Unit with Tom Manning, Pat Gros and Carole Manning which eventually became known as the United Freedom Front. From 1975 to 1984 the UFF carried out several robberies as well as bombings targeted at corporations and institutions supporting the South African apartheid regime and US foreign policy in Central America.
Arrest / Trial
Levasseur was arrested on November 3, 1984, by Emery R. Jorden, U.S Marshal, who managed to track him down from a trail of aliases that his wife was using, which led to a post office box in Columbus, Ohio. During the arrest, his wife and 3 children were taken into custody. His children were subjected to over 5 hours of interrogation by the FBI and were then turned over to a state child welfare agency, despite the fact that numerous relatives lived in the area, were gainfully employed, and expressed willingness to take the children into custody.
Conviction / Imprisonment
Levasseur and six of his comrades were eventually convicted of conspiracy in 1986 and sentenced to long terms. In 1987 Levasseur and all seven members of the UFF were charged with seditious conspiracy and violations of the RICO act. The trial ended in an acquittal on most charges and a hung jury on the rest.
After the conspiracy charge in 1986, Levasseur was sentenced to 45 years in prison, and was sent immediately to Control Unit of the supermax prison, USP Marion. While there, he refused to work for the prison labor corporation UNICOR, producing weapons for the U.S. Department of Defense.
In 1999 he was transferred to the Atlanta Federal Prison, where he was released from solitary confinement for the first time in 13 years. Soon afterwards, he began to publish writings on the website Letters from Exile
Levasseur was released from prison on parole in November 2004 having served nearly half of his 45 year sentence.
- James, Joy (2003). Imprisoned Intellectuals: America's political prisoners write on life, liberation, and rebellion. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 227–229. ISBN 978-0-7425-2027-1.
- Raymond Luc Levasseur Trial transcripts, 1989, University of Massachusetts Special Collections and University Archives. Retrieved April 1, 2013
- Churchill, Ward; Jim Vander Wall (2002). The COINTELPRO papers: documents from the FBI's secret wars against dissent in the United States. South End Press. p. 317. ISBN 978-0-89608-648-7.
- US v. Levasseur, 816 F. 2d 37 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1987, United States of America v. Ramond Levasseur, Carol Ann Manning, Thomas William Manning, Barbara Curzi-Laaman, Richard Charles Williams, Jaan Karl Laaman. Retrieved April 1, 2013
- Churchill, Ward; Jim Vander Wall (2002). The COINTELPRO papers: documents from the FBI's secret wars against dissent in the United States. South End Press. p. 416. ISBN 978-0-89608-648-7.
Scholarly papers / Journal articles