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Five leaked security alerts on Iowa fur farm arrests
The 9th in a series of leaked Fur Commission "security alerts" Animal Liberation Frontline will be posting this month.
Background: Animal Liberation Frontline has obtained dozens of internal fur industry "security alerts." These bulletins are sent to fur farmers via email and fax every time there is a "security" related issue affecting US fur farms. The subject matter can range from trespassers being chased from farms, to unpublicized details of ALF raids, to farmers sharing license plate numbers of "suspicious vehicles."
These are intended to be read by fur farmers only, and were not intended to be read by the general public. I will be posting approximately 30 bulletins over the next month. Read a full background on this series here.
A synopsis of these alerts
This post is a collection of 5 security alerts covering the case of Kellie Marshall & Victor VanOrden. The pair were arrested after setting off alarms at the Circle K mink and fox farm in Sioux City, Iowa in 2011. Some reports indicate a small number of animals were released. They served 30 days and 3 months, respectively.
The capture of fur farm raiders is a (rare) celebrated event for the Fur Commission USA, who sent out these alerts in the wake of Victor & Kellie's capture.
Note: The third alert below also covers the raid of the Miller mink farm in Washington.
Fur Commission USA
Suspects Captured in Iowa
Last night around 1:30 AM, Steve Krege's alarms were triggered on his mink farm in Sioux City IA. When he went out to inspect he discovered a silver Toyota truck backed up to his gate on the far side of the farm. He immediately secured the vehicle and called the police, who set up a perimeter and with the aide of K-9 units, captured two would-be farm attackers. The truck contained masks, burglary tools, a police scanner, walkie-talkies and other items. There were approximately a dozen holes cut in the fence and one cage had been opened.
At this time the suspects are being held in Sioux City Jail and each has been charged with two felony burglary counts. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for this morning. I have been in touch with Sioux City PD, Iowa FBI and the Iowa Dept of Criminal Investigations, and I will send out new information as it becomes available.
After the Palmer farm attack on Thursday, and after receiving the Fur Commission Security Alert for the Upper Midwest, Steve had made sure his security systems were up-to-date and operative. His hard work and attention to detail may have prevented many more farm attacks from occurring. Congratulations go out to Steve Krege for his alert and decisive actions, and for his efforts in making our industry safer.
As of 1243 hours (CST) the two individuals arrested for the attack on the Krege farm in Sioux City IA are being held in Woodbury County Jail. They are identified as:
Adult male: Victor Casey VanOrden DOB 07-11-87
Adult female: Kellie Rose Marshall DOB 11-08-89
Mr VanOrden is believed to be a tattoo artist from Austin TX (http://affinitybodypiercing.com) while little is yet know about Ms. Marshall. At the moment they are each facing felony burglary and felony criminal mischief charges. According to state law the bail can only be set at $5,000 each. Though federal agents have been working on the case, no federal charges have yet been levied, nor has any federal hold been put on their bail. Basically, as soon as bail is made, they are free to go. I have spoken with numerous federal and local law enforcement officials, informing them of the history of farm attacks and the penchant for persons arrested to go underground once bail is posted (see Peter Young and Justin Samuel).
FBI D.C., Omaha, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, as well as the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are aware of the situation and I will pass along updates as they become available.
Please stand by….
Early this morning Gina and Mike Miller arose to find that animal rights extremists had broke into their farm in Gifford WA, and released approximately 1,100 mink. The Miller family, with help from their friends and neighbors, are presently re-capturing the animals and the FBI in both Seattle and Spokane have been alerted. More information will be sent as it becomes available.
On Saturday, an older white sedan was seen outside an abandoned pelting shed near Startup WA. A white male, clean cut, approximately 50 years old was spotted taking photos of the shed with a high powered lens. The vehicle was occupied by several other persons. When approached the car sped away. No other information is available
Update on Iowa farm attacks
As of last night Victor VanOrden and Kellie Marshall had not made bail, and were still in the Woodbury County Jail for the attempted attack on Steve Krege's mink farm.
Two animal rights activists were spotted approaching Palmer Erickson's farm in broad daylight and were chased off by Palmer's 13-year old grandson. Police searched the area and found two men fitting the description several hours later. Photos of the farm, including cages with fox inside are appearing on the internet.
All farmers should be on high alert as it seems there are several cells working around the country at the moment, and are aggressively targeting mink farms. Please report any suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency and closest FBI field office.
This morning Victor Vanorden and Kellie Marshall (the two individuals caught on the Krege farm in IA) appeared at a preliminary hearing in IA district court. They were each charged with: Count 1: Releasing Animal(s) from an Animal Facility, a class D felony [State version of Animal Terrorism], Count 2: Burglary in the Third Degree, a class D felony, Count 3: Possession of Burglar's Tools, an Aggravated Misdemeanor and Count 4: Criminal Mischief in the 4th Degree, a Serious Misdemeanor. At this time no federal charges have yet been filed.
In approximately two weeks they will have an arraignment hearing, where they will enter a plea, then if necessary a trial will follow in approximately 2-3 months. Presently there is a "Prosecutors Alert" on the pair, to inform the district attorney's office if bail is being prepared. Law enforcement is also monitoring the phone numbers of calls being placed and/or received.
The animal rights extremists that were caught breaking into Steve Krage's mink farm in Sioux City IA are now going through the plea-deal process. We urgently need letters to the sentencing judge detailing how attacks like this deserve substantial penalties. Woodbury County Attorney Drew Bockenstedt is confident there will be a conviction on
the state animal enterprise terrorism charges (Class D felony, up to 5 years prison), but sentencing discretion is left to the judge. The accused apparently have no criminal records, are gainfully employed, and are remorseful about the crime. This may prompt a sentence of probation or a deferred judgment (no jail, record expunged after a period of time).
Fur Commission USA is fighting for a jail sentence of at least 2 years and a felony conviction. What we need are letters to the sentencing judge from the industry explaining:
• How farmers have suffered from these attacks for 20 years
and need a jail sentence to send a message to other people considering this type
These are a couple suggestions of what to include in your letter. The important thing is that the judge knows that we take great interest in what is happening in this case, that these attacks affect our families and communities, and that his decision is important to all of us in the farm community.
Please write to "Your honor", or "Dear Sentencing Judge" or "To whom it may concern", or something like that. Be sure to introduce yourself and be respectful. We need these letters as soon as possible, as sentencing recommendations may begin as early as Nov. 19.
Address letter to: