After more than a year on the run, fugitive William "Taz" Stoner, a river guide who used explosives to reshape the fatal twists of Arizona's Quartzite Falls, has been arrested in
The convicted bomber and wilderness expert was picked up last week in Sydney where he has been working for a river-rafting company and living under the alias of Gene Allan Carpenter. Stoner will be returned to Phoenix, says U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton, and charged with failure to appear for sentencing on charges of destruction of federal property--Quartzite Falls on the Salt River in Tonto National Forest.
The falls, 100 miles northeast of Phoenix, were a white-water challenge infamous for taking the lives of even veteran river runners. When two California rafters drowned there in 1993, Stoner decided it was time to tame the menace. He recruited seven friends and led them on five trips to destroy the falls in stages with 45 pounds of fertilizer explosives.
In October 1994, a federal grand jury indicted the Quartzite Eight. Prosecutors claimed Stoner captained the conspiracy for no better reason than the falls were a bottleneck slowing the pace of his commercial river trips. In an interview with The Times, Stoner insisted he had acted to save lives, to make the falls safer.