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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Animal Rights Activist Sentenced to Six Months of Home Confinement for Vandalizing a Farm and Releasing 2,000 Mink from Cages

CHICAGO — A Los Angeles man was sentenced today to six months of home confinement for vandalizing a Grundy County fur farm and releasing more than 2,000 mink from their cages.

After releasing the mink, TYLER LANG and an accomplice spray painted the barn with the words, “Liberation is Love.”  The pair also poured an acidic substance over two trucks that were parked on the farm in Morris, Ill.

Lang, 27, pleaded guilty last year to one count of conspiring to travel in interstate commerce with the purpose of damaging an animal enterprise. 

U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve sentenced Lang to three months’ time already served in prison, six months of community confinement and six months of home confinement, followed by one year of supervised release.

“Lang was not engaging in lawful activism or peaceful protest, but instead was committing a crime,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Bethany K. Biesenthal argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.  “The use of illegal methods of activism – harassment, threats, vandalism – does nothing more than taint the image of law-abiding activists who are attempting to create change through legal protest and lawful demonstration.”

The accomplice, KEVIN JOHNSON, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty last year to the same charge as Lang.  Judge St. Eve sentenced Johnson last month to three years in prison.

The vandalism and releasing of the mink occurred on Aug. 13, 2013.  The mink farmers, with assistance from law enforcement, were able to recover 1,600 of the animals.  The remaining mink died or were never found.  Lang and Johnson also destroyed cards from the cages that identified the breed of each animal, making it impossible to determine the breed of the recovered minks.

The sentencing of Johnson was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The government is represented by Ms. Biesenthal and Assistant U.S. Attorney William Ridgway.

Topic: 
National Security
Updated March 23, 2016