Feds Charge Mink Saviors with “Eco-Terrorism” – Can Face 10 Years in Prison and a $250 000 Fine
A pair of animal rights activists has been indicted by federal authorities on charges of terrorism for freeing many thousands of minks nationwide. The minks were slated to be killed for their fur, a practice that activists around the globe condemn. The defendants were charged under the Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act and could face 10 years in prison and a $250 000 fine.
According to prosecutors, Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane funded cross-country animal liberation trips by selling things on eBay and Amazon. The government alleges that they transacted strictly in cash and avoided the use of cell phones or the Internet while active. They used unspecified “encrypted” e-mail, which if they are guilty could be helpful in limiting evidence. These tactics are known as “security culture” to groups such as the Animal Liberation Front.
Much of the evidence expressed in the federal indictment centers around the procurement of money and then circumstantially ties it to the alleged activities of the “animal rights extremists.” Technologists will get a chuckle out of the 2015 usage of the term “internet computers” in the indictment, which reads in part:
On or about December 18, 2013, defendant [Nicole] KISSANE possessed multiple maps of various states, written material associated with the targeting and destruction of the fur industry, multiple cell phones, handwritten lists of fur farms and other animal enterprise, latex gloves, super glue, disposable gloves, heat resistant gloves, a knife, headlamps, a walkie-talkie set, and encrypted computers and USB drives.
On conviction, Kissane and Buddenberg could face up to 10 years in federal prison and a quarter million dollars in fines. A cursory search for communiques that may be linked to the activists the federal government is looking for (which may not be these two) yielded this statement from December 2012, in which the actors said:
The fur industry will be quick to respond to this beautiful act of compassion with baseless cookie-cutter form responses, in an attempt to discredit our actions and divert attention away from their sadistic industry.
Images from Shutterstock and Popular Resistance.