Kevin Kjonaas, Jake Conroy, Josh Harper, and Lauren Gazzola
Trenton, New Jersey, US - Federal Judge Anne Thompson sentenced four animal rights activists to between three and six years in prison and ordered them to collectively reimburse animal testing company Huntingdon Life Sciences over 1 million dollars for lost profits. Kevin Kjonaas, 28, Lauren Gazzola, 27, Jacob Conroy, 30, and Joshua Harper, 31, were convicted of conspiring to violate the Animal Enterprises Protection Act -- a 1992 law that made it a federal crime to engage in "physical disruption" of animal research facilities, farms, circuses, fairs or other businesses using live animals.
Josh Harper was sentenced to three years in federal prison. This sentence was 5 months below the minimum range recommended by the government, and three quarters of Jake's four year sentence. Kevin Kjonaas's six year sentence was 3 years below the guideline range, Lauren Gazzola's four and a half year sentence was nearly four years below, and Jake Conroy's was nearly six years below range.
Two more activists Andrew Stepanian, 27, and Darius Fullmer, 29, are scheduled to be sentenced next Tuesday.
Josh was given the maximum possible sentence for the AEPA count, 3 years, and 1 one year for the "black faxing" count which is set to run concurrent.
Josh closed his statement to the court by saying, "From Boston Harbor to the civil rights movement to the modern day animal rights struggle, when correctly applied, I still support the use of direct action and continue to want nothing more than animal liberation."