Regular readers of AC will recall the saga of Peter Daniel Young: Mr. Young was captured in the San Francisco Bay Area in a Starbucks while trying to boost some CD's in front of a cop. The cop handcuffed him when he became suspicious of Mr. Young's Virginia ID, and the fact that Mr. Young had a handcuff key taped to his belt where his handcuffed hands would be.
A check of Mr. Young's fingerprints showed that he was wanted in connection with attacks on fur farms and the release of mink into the countryside, a crime that accomplice Justin Samuel implicated him in, and a crime for which it was initially thought that if convicted, Mr. Young would face life in prison (for extortion in connection with "animal enterprise terrorism").
Mr. Young got lucky.
No, he got very lucky: the supreme court, in ruling on another case, required that for someone to be guilty of "extortion," that person had to actually take something.
So Mr. Young, who faced 4 counts of "interfering with commerce by extortion", with each charge carrying a potential 20 year penalty, could not have "extorted."
The prosecution was emasculated and had to drop the extortion charges — Mr. Young was ultimately convicted of lesser charges and was sentenced to a mere 2 years total, the maximum possible.
At his sentencing, Mr. Young was defiant in the extreme, and regretted only that he hadn't done more damage than he had, proclaiming his virtue because he acted out of conscience (unlike most people, Mr. Young's conscience is infallible).
But now, Mr. Young's luck may be running out: It seems that South Dakota is charging him with the 1997 release of mink from the Turbank Mink Ranch:
A man convicted in federal court in Wisconsin for releasing mink from farms in three states now faces state charges in South Dakota. Peter Daniel Young, 28, of Mercer Island, Wash., is charged in the release of hundreds of mink from the Turbak Mink Ranch near Kranzburg in 1997, said Codington County State's Attorney Vince Foley.
Young was indicted in 1998 on federal charges for releasing mink at farms in South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.
After being a fugitive for several years, he pleaded guilty in a plea bargain to charges of animal enterprise terrorism and was sentenced last month to two years in prison in federal court in Madison, Wisconsin.
The Associated Press reports that Young wasn't remorseful for his crime at the time. He read a statement to the court, calling his mink farm raids an "act of conscience."
He told fur farmers in the audience "it was an absolute pleasure to raid your farms" and urged everyone in the courtroom to go out and attack more farms.
Federal investigators said they believe Young is connected with the Animal Liberation Front, a radical group that has attempted to destroy animal-related industries it considers inhumane.
Stay tuned . . .