More Massachusetts Activists Indicted

Back in August 2002, two animal rights activists were indicted in Massachusetts after they allegedly threatened to burn down the home of Marsh Insurance manager Robert Harper Jr. Today, 9 additional individuals with links to Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty were indicted on various charges related to their harassment of Harper and Marsh.

According to a press release from the Attorney General’s office, the indicted individuals include,

  • Ryan Kleinert, 17, of East Brunswick, N.J., indicted on one count each of attempted extortion, threats to burn a dwelling, stalking in violation of restraining order and criminal harassment, and four counts of conspiracy.
  • Jacob Conroy, 26, of Seattle, Wash., indicted on one count each of attempted extortion, threats to burn a dwelling, stalking in violation of restraining order, criminal harassment, and four counts of conspiracy.
  • Ryan Smith, 19, of Billerica, indicted on one count each of attempted extortion, criminal harassment and two counts of conspiracy.
  • Laura Lungarelli, of Gilford, N.H., indicted on one count each of attempted extortion, criminal harassment and two counts of conspiracy.
  • Lisa Lotts, 23, of Allston, indicted on one count each of attempted extortion, criminal harassment and two counts of conspiracy.
  • Alexandra Doane, 18, of Foxboro, indicted on one count each of attempted extortion, criminal harassment and two counts of conspiracy.
  • Lauren Gazzola, 23, of Bethel, Conn., indicted on one count each of attempted extortion, criminal harassment and two counts of conspiracy.
  • Joshua Schwartz of Chicago, Ill., indicted on one count each of attempted extortion, criminal harassment and two counts of conspiracy.
  • Jennifer Greenberg, 17, of Wheeling, Ill., indicted on one count each of attempted extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion.

Additionally, two unnamed women and one unnamed man were indicted. Police have photographs of the unnamed individuals and are seeking to identify them.

Attempted extortion is the most serious crime that the individuals were charged with, and in Massachusetts carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.

Kurt Schwarz, of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, told the Boston Herald that, “These 12 people in the name of protest engaged in conduct that went far beyond the bounds of protected speech.”

Referring to Ryan Smith, Schwarz told the Lowell Sun,

He, like the 11 others were all participants in multiple protests in Boston and the protest he participated in, we allege, were designed to not only criminally harass the targets but were designed to compel the target’s company [Marsh] to withdraw its business relationship with the English company [Huntingdon Life Sciences].

Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General Philip J. McGovern of the Corruption, Fraud and Computer Crime Division has been assigned to prosecute the cases against the indicted individuals.

Sources:

Billerica teen accused in animal rights terror case. Jennifer Fenn, Lowell Sun, October 28, 2002.

US animal rights activists indicted for stalking. Reuters, October 28, 2002.

Activists indicted for harassing Hub man. Michael Lasalandra, The Boston Herald, October 26, 2002.

AG Reilly Announces 43 Indictments Against 12 People In Connection With International Animal Rights Extremist Group. Office of Attorney General Tom Reilly, Press Release, October 25, 2002.

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