DEA Investigates PETA; Criminal Drug ...

DEA Investigates PETA; Criminal Drug Charges Possible

Posted in the Michael Vick Forum

“Love My Rattlers”

Since: Feb 08


#1 Mar 18, 2008
By Tim McGlone
The Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK - The Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating how PETA handles euthanasia drugs.

DEA officials said the investigation of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is administrative at this point, but it could lead to criminal charges if serious violations are uncovered.

PETA attorney Jeff Kerr called the action "heavy-handed" Thursday but added that the non profit group is cooperating with the DEA.

DEA agents searched PETA's Front Street offices on April 18, making copies of training manuals and competency certificates on 17 employees including Director Ingrid Newkirk, according to an inspection warrant filed in U.S. District Court.

Those papers had been filed under seal but were opened earlier this month and obtained by The Virginian-Pilot this week. An affidavit explaining the DEA's motive for the investigation remains sealed, however.

The DEA action comes on the heels of a criminal trial in North Carolina where two PETA employees, Adria Hinkle and Andrew Cook, were accused of animal cruelty and littering after they were caught dumping euthanized animals in a shopping center trash bin.

A jury acquitted both of animal cruelty charges but convicted them of littering. The conviction has been appealed.

PETA euthanized nearly 2,000 animals in 2005, the last year figures were available from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. PETA says euthanasia is necessary to ease suffering in certain animals.

James Gregorius, assistant special agent in charge of the Richmond DEA office, declined to say whether the investigation is related to the North Carolina case.

"The whole thing is still under investigation," he said. "We're still working on it."

The Richmond DEA office handles "diversion investigations" for most of the state. Typical cases include monitoring physicians' prescription patterns to ensure narcotics aren't being diverted for illicit purposes, according to the DEA. Veterinarians and animal shelters that administer drugs also fall into this category and must be licensed by the DEA.

Officials in the U.S. attorney's office, which filed the court papers, did not respond to phone and e-mail messages from The Pilot.

Kerr said Thursday that he believes this is first time in the 11 years PETA has been at Front Street that the DEA has demanded to see its records. He said 12 DEA agents showed up that day without advance notice.

According to the court records, the DEA feared prior notification "could result in the destruction of or tampering with evidence or otherwise jeopardize the ongoing investigation."

In 2001, the FBI infiltrated PETA and tapped its phone lines in an effort to establish a link between the animal-rights group and eco-terrorists. No charges were brought against PETA.

Among the documents taken by the DEA were Hinkle's training and competency certificates, according to the federal court records. DEA officials also took copies of dispensing records since Jan. 1, 2005, for the euthanasia drugs Beuthanasia and Fatal-Plus, the insecticide Pentasol and the anesthetic Ketaject. In all, nearly 1,000 pages of records were copied.

During the North Carolina trial, a DEA agent testified that PETA did not have the authority to administer euthanasia drugs in North Carolina.

However, a PETA attorney testified that the agency had been given the green light by the DEA to euthanize animals in North Carolina.

PETA could face fines or sanctions against its license if the DEA finds any wrongdoing. Gross mishandling of drugs could lead to criminal charges.

Gregori us said the investigation has no timetable.

“Love My Rattlers”

Since: Feb 08


#2 Mar 18, 2008
Nathan Winograd, former US prosecutor on PETA:

"But while PETA applauds the prosecution of Michael Vick, it fought similar efforts by a prosecutor in North Carolina who went after PETA employees for needlessly killing animals and dumping their bodies in supermarket trash bins.

And while PETA condemns Michael Vick for killing Pit Bull-type dogs, PETA itself is on record saying that each and every Pit Bull entering a U.S. animal shelter should be killed as a matter of policy -- including healthy and friendly dogs. By its actions, words, and deeds, PETA is condemning hundreds of thousands of dogs annually to death.

HSUS is no better. HSUS once called the mass extermination of alley cats the only “practical and humane” solution. Why is the needless killing of millions of cats “humane,” especially in the face of non-lethal lifesaving alternatives?"

“Love My Rattlers”

Since: Feb 08


#3 Mar 18, 2008

This is a trend among these shelters.

“Love My Rattlers”

Since: Feb 08


#4 Mar 24, 2008
Well, apparently PETA doesn't think the laws actually apply to them...just to those that they believe they can extort money from.

PETA workers scheduled for trial
09:24 AM EDT on Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Associated Press

COURTLAND, Va.(AP)-- Two PETA employees accused of stealing a hunting dog and discarding its electronic tracking device are scheduled to go to trial today in Southampton General District Court.

Carrie Beth Edwards and Andrea Florence Benoit face grand larceny and petty larceny charges.

Southampton County police say they pulled over Edwards and Benoit in a van registered to Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and found the dog inside.

PETA spokeswoman Erin Edwards said the two women did nothing wrong and were only picking up the dog to ensure its safety. She said PETA opposes tracking collars because they can malfunction and cause painful burns.

The case inspired a new law that takes effect next week that requires those convicted of removing a collar to face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
haters everywhere we go

Ozona, TX

#5 Mar 26, 2008
talking to yourself is fun.

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