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Wanted Animal Rights Activist Arrested

March 30th, 2005, 10:31 AM
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- An animal rights activist was arrested on a domestic terrorism charge after seven years on the run in connection with the release of thousands of minks from commercial farms.

Peter Daniel Young, 27, could face life in prison if convicted of all charges, including conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce and animal enterprise terrorism, according to court papers.

Young fled soon after he was indicted in 1998 and was arrested March 21 at a coffee shop in San Jose, authorities said.

He and Justin Clayton Samuel, 26, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Wisconsin in the release of minks from farms in Wisconsin, South Dakota and Iowa, FBI agent Mike Johnson said Tuesday. They were accused of freeing thousands of the animals.


Federal authorities suspect Young is affiliated with the activist group Animal Liberation Front. A telephone message left at the group's office in Canoga Park was not immediately returned.

According to a police report, Officer Ian Cooley witnessed Young attempting to steal music CDs from the cafe. Young was arrested and found to be hiding a handcuff key taped to his belt, according to the report. A fingerprint search turned up the outstanding warrant.

Young also faces several charges in connection with the coffee shop incident. He is being held in an isolation jail cell because he refused to take a tuberculosis test, authorities said. Some TB tests contain animal products.

Co-defendant Samuel was arrested in Belgium in 1999. He pleaded guilty the following year and was sentenced to two years in prison.

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