2 Activists Accused of Freeing 5K Mink Caught
Authorities say couple went on cross-country road trip to farms
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2015 10:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two animal rights activists who authorities say went on an epic vigilante road trip across the US have been arrested and face jail time. Joseph Buddenberg, 31, and Nicole Kissane, 28, both of Oakland, are accused of freeing about 5,000 mink from various farms along with a slew of vandalism incidents, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Prosecutors say the pair set out in June 2013 in a Honda Fit and began their spree by vandalizing a San Diego fur store with paint and Super Glue. After that, they allegedly freed mink from cages at farms in Idaho, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Pennsylvania, along with one lucky bobcat in Montana, reports the San Diego Tribune.

They also vandalized other stores and vehicles (including a police chief's car) along the way, say authorities. “Whatever your feelings about the fur industry, there are legal ways to make your opinions known,” say US Attorney Lura 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 pair allegedly wrote of their spree in encrypted "communiques" on activist websites as it progressed. They're accused of violating the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, and each faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Both are out on bond with electronic monitoring.