The FBI has arrested two animal-rights activists for the crime of freeing thousands of minks from fur farms.
The AP reported Saturday that Joseph Brian Buddenberg and Nicole Juanita Kissane have been charged with domestic terrorism after allegedly traveling 40,000 miles around the United States in order to release around 5,740 minks from farms and committing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property damage. The two face up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
The charges come as fur enjoys a spike in popularity, with demand for mink coats soaring around the world. The Guardian reported in March that 70% of the shows at New York Fashion Week featured fur.
The animal-rights movement, of course, sees the killing of animals for their fur as an appalling crime.
Buddenberg and Kissane were charged under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a controversial law that animal rights advocates have claimed is an overly restrictive incursion on their freedom of expression. The federal government, naturally, disagrees.
The FBI charges also showed the steps people are taking to avoid the sweeping digital footprint that the average person leaves in 21st-century America. Buddenberg and Kissane allegedly shunned the use of cell phones, made sure to email over encrypted computers, and always used cash.