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Two Jailed for Attempted Mink Farm Raid Released

Two arrested at an Iowa mink farm released on bail, face new felony charge

After 16 days, Kellie Marshall and Victor Vandoren were released from jail on bail last week. They were arrested near the Circle K fur farm in Sioux City, Iowa. Police allege the two attempted to cut the fence of the farm and were interrupted by the fur farmer in the act.

At their most recent court date, the state of Iowa added a new felony charge of (in legal shorthand) “ANIMAL FACILITY-DESTRUCT OF PROP/INJURY TO ANIMAL”.   However the media, from day one of this case, has been unable to agree if any animals were actually released in the incident, with one paper reporting Victor Vandoren is charged with “releasing an animal from an animal facility”.

They face a maximum 12-15 year sentence.

They currently face these charges: As of Thursday, their charges are now ANIMAL FACILITY-DESTRUCT OF PROP/INJURY TO ANIMAL (Class D Felony), BURGLARY 3RD DEGREE (Class D Felony), POSSESSION OF BURGLAR’S TOOLS (Aggravated Misdemeanor), and CRIMINAL MISCHIEF 4TH DEGREE (Misdemeanor).

The case could still go federal, as is most often the case with incidents the government can classify as “eco-terrorism”. If it takes such a turn, the two could be charged under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. However because the damages were small, AETA sentencing guidelines would make it unlikely the pair would face years in prison (though it is possible). It has also been speculated the case may remain at the state level because the two would actually face more time than if prosecuted federally (federal crimes, generally, carry much stiffer sentences).

The two are trying to raise money for lawyers to fight these serious charges. Visit the Support Kellie and Victor support site to learn how you can donate.

- Peter Young

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