An animal rights activist was sentenced to prison Tuesday for her role in a “calculated, premeditated reign of terror…” against businesses and employees of the fur industry.
Nicole Kissane, 30, was sentenced to 21 month in prison and ordered to pay $423,477 in restitution in federal court after she pleaded guilty last December to Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.
As part of her plea agreement, Kissane admitted that she and coconspirator Joseph Buddenberg, 32, caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages during 40,000 miles of cross-country trips over the summer and into the fall of 2013.
The indictment described one instance in July of 2013 where Kissane and Buddenberg traveled from Oregon to San Diego in their 2012 Honda Fit and used paint, stripper, a super glue-type substance, butyric acid, muriatic acid and glass etchant to vandalize San Diego furrier Furs by Graf. The two also vandalized the personal properties of current and former owners of the business in La Mesa and Spring Valley.
Other instances of terror include releasing mink from farms across the midwest, slashing tires of meat distribution trucks in San Francisco, smashing windows and gluing door locks at furrier businesses in Minnesota, and attempting to flood the Wisconsin home of an employee of North American Fur Auctions.
“Vandalizing homes and businesses with acid, glue and chemicals in the dark of night is a form of domestic terrorism,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson. “Whatever your feelings about the fur industry, these sentences are a pretty strong signal that this isn’t the right way to effect change.”
The indictment also detailed Kissane and Buddenberg’s attempt to publicize their crusade by posting “communiques” describing their acts to websites associated with animal rights extremism.
Kissane’s conduct was described as a “calculated, premeditated reign of terror over those in the fur industry,” by U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns during Tuesday's sentencing hearing.
She and Buddenberg were both arrested by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in their hometown of Oakland in July of 2013.
Buddenberg, who pleaded guilty to the same charge last February, was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $398,272 in restitution.