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Most Serious Charge Dropped Against Pair Caught at Iowa Fur Farm

Attempted burglary charges dropped against two arrested at mink farm + new details about the arrest


In a positive development, attempted burglary charges against two people arrested at an Iowa mink farm last week were inexplicably dropped. Kellie Rose Marshall, 21, and Victor Vanorden, 24, still each face a charge of possession of burglar's tools, a misdemeanor, and a charge of second-degree criminal mischief, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Vanorden also faces a misdemeanor charge of carrying a weapon.

The pair were arrested a the rear of the farm late on the night of October 10th, where police found several holes cut in the chicken wire fence. They also found maps, hiking equipment, police scanners, a machete and more than $700 cash in a vehicle parked next to a gate behind the property.

The media has been unable to agree on whether any animals were released the night the pair were arrested, with some reports stating a small number of animals had been released but recaptured.

In 1997, approximately 5,000 mink and more than 100 silver foxes were released from the same farm.

In my non-lawyer opinion, it is likely the FBI is looking at filing federal charges against the pair. When there have been arrests, most "crimes" fitting the Animal Liberation Front model has been prosecuted federally. The case against Alex Hall and William Viehl included an Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act charge for a similar "attempted raid" at a fur farm in Utah. No animals were released in that attempted raid, and the pair were merely pulled over by police in proximity of the farm.

As I heard repeated often by pre-trial prisoners in jail: "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst".

- Peter Young

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