Santa Monica police and FBI agents raided the homes of several
controversial animal rights activists this week as part of an
investigation into the underground Animal Liberation Front.
Among the targets were Dr. Jerry Vlasak and his wife, Pamelyn Ferdin,
two well-known activists who regularly protest against Los Angeles
animal services officials. They were not at their Agoura Hills home
when police conducted the search. Vlasak said an officer had to enter
through a pet door to get inside.
Santa Monica Police Capt. Alex Padilla said officers served search
warrants in Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties on Tuesday. He
would not provide details of the probe beyond saying that it was "an
ongoing criminal stalking and conspiracy investigation involving
members of the Animal Liberation Front."
An activist involved in protesting animal testing by the Santa
Monica-based POM Wonderful company, the world's largest producer of
pomegranate juice, said his home and those of others involved in the
animal rights cause were raided.
The activists say the company has funded cruel experiments on mice and
rabbits to prove the health benefits of the juice. They have said they
have no affiliation with Vlasak and are in no way terrorists.
The search warrant for Vlasak's home authorized the seizure of any
evidence of affiliation with the Animal Liberation Front, as well as
evidence pertaining to POM Wonderful.
According to the search warrant, police seized computer equipment,
animal rights books, pamphlets, T-shirts, fliers, a stuffed animal and
"duffel bags w/ wrist rocket, 3/8" shot," an apparent reference to a
type of slingshot. The FBI would not comment on the case.