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Oakland animal advocates accused of vandalism spree against fur industry
by Fox5 San Diego
Friday Jul 24th, 2015 7:02 PM
SAN DIEGO — Two animal advocates were arrested Friday on charges they went on a nationwide vandalism spree against the fur industry, including in San Diego County, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today.
Joseph Brian Buddenberg, 31, and Nicole Juanita Kissane, 28, were taken into custody by the FBI in Oakland, but are expected to be tried in San Diego.

Prosecutors allege the two drove to San Diego two years ago and used paint, paint stripper, a super glue-type substance, butyric acid, muriatic acid and glass etchant to vandalize Furs by Graf, a retail furrier located in San Diego.

The activists also allegedly damaged the Spring Valley and La Mesa residences and personal property of the current and former owners of the business, according to the indictment.

To publicize their actions, the defendants drafted “communiques” describing their conduct and posted them on websites associated with more extreme animal rights organizations, the indictment alleges.

The defendants allegedly slashed the tires of a meat distributor’s truck in San Francisco; smashed windows and glued the door locks at a furrier business in Minneapolis; and vandalized and attempted to flood the Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, home of an employee of North American Fur Auctions.

“Whatever your feelings about the fur industry, there are legal ways to make your opinions known,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “The conduct alleged here, sneaking around at night, stealing property and vandalizing homes and businesses with acid, glue and chemicals, is a form of domestic terrorism and can’t be permitted to continue.”

The defendants took a number of steps to avoid detection by law enforcement, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to prosecutors, the pair withdrew large sums of cash from their bank accounts immediately before setting off on a road trip, largely avoided the use of phones, and used only cash for purchases. They also stopped logging in to known online accounts and email, using public Internet computers and encrypted email instead, prosecutors said.
by SJ Mercury News
Friday Jul 24th, 2015 7:20 PM
OAKLAND -- Two Oakland-based animal activists were arrested by the FBI Friday and charged with terrorizing the fur industry during cross-country road trips, federal officials said.

Oakland residents Joseph Buddenberg, 31, and Nicole Kissane, 28, were accused of traveling 40,000 miles to release thousands of minks from farms throughout the country and vandalize several properties, according to a news release from the Office of the United States Attorney Southern District of California. The suspects were arrested in Oakland Friday morning by FBI agents.

Officials said Buddenberg and Kissane caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages during the nationwide spree during summer 2013, according to a federal grand jury indictment Friday. The pair allegedly sneaked onto fur farms and destroyed breeding records and freed minks in Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. A bobcat was also released from a farm in Montana.

The animal activists traveled in a 2012 Honda Fit from Oregon to San Diego on July 15, 2013 and vandalized a retail furrier, officials said. Buddenberg and Kissane also vandalized the Spring Valley and La Mesa homes and personal properties of the current and former owners of the furrier, Furs by Graf. The pair used paint, paint stripper, butyric acid, muriatic acid, glass etchant and a super glue-type substance.

The Oakland residents publicized their crimes by drafting "communiqués" that described their acts and posted them on animal rights extremist websites, according to the indictment. The defendants also reportedly slashed tires of a meat distributor's truck in San Francisco, glued door locks and smashed windows at a furrier business in Minneapolis, Minnesota, attempted to flood and vandalized the home of a North American Fur Auctions employee in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

The activists were both unemployed and sold items on eBay and Amazon to finance their cross-country trips, according to the indictment. During their trips, the Oakland residents avoided using phones, used only cash and stopped logging into online accounts. The pair used public computers and encrypted email. Upon return from their trips, they used their phones and computers normally and no longer relied on cash for purchases.

Buddenberg and Kissane face charges for conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which holds of a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

After Friday's court date, Kissane has a $100,000 unsecured bond, electronic monitoring and is restricted to the northwestern part of the state.

Buddenberg also has a $100,000 bond and is under house arrest with electronic monitoring until Tuesday. His travel is restricted to the northwestern and southern parts of the state.

The pair's next court appearance is 9 a.m. Tuesday at the U.S. District Court in Oakland. They will also appear in court Sept. 9 in San Diego.
by more info
Friday Jul 24th, 2015 7:49 PM
Animal Rights Activists Accused of Going on Cross-Country Spree Targeting Fur Industry
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California

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