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A Review of the FBI's Investigations of Certain Domestic Advocacy Groups




Chapter Four: Investigative Activities Directed at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

D. Randy Carter

1. Facts

The Norfolk Field Division initiated a preliminary investigation of Randy Carter on August 5, 2002.136 According to the opening EC, the Norfolk Field Division received information from the FBI's field office in Portland, Maine that Carter had moved to Norfolk from                                                                . The EC indicated that Carter had been arrested on several occasions for activities related to animal rights. The first arrest occurred in                 when Carter was arrested by the                                                                 on charges of                                                                . According to the EC, Carter participated in a protest in which activists                                           SENTENCE DELETED                                     .

A second arrest occurred in                                                                 in                                             when, according to the EC, Carter attempted to                                                                . Carter also was arrested in                                             for vandalism associated with protest activities, and again in                                             for trespassing and refusing to disperse in connection with protest activities. The EC did not provide the disposition of any of the arrests.

The EC indicated that                                            , Carter listed his place of employment as PETA, and that based on the information provided by the jurisdictions where he was arrested, Carter "has been identified as being employed by PETA with a history of violence and arrests during animal rights activities." The Norfolk Field Division initiated a preliminary investigation to assess whether Carter was involved in any criminal activity.

The Norfolk Field Division's investigation obtained Carter's                                           SENTENCE DELETED                                     . According to investigative records, the FBI determined that Carter was employed by PETA as an "activist liaison," that he was a well known animal rights activists "intimately involved" in the activities of Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty, and that he is "affiliated with" the Animal Defense League and the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade.

The Norfolk Field Division administratively closed the preliminary investigation of Carter on February 24, 2004. The closing EC noted that "no further investigative leads or actions have taken place since the expiration of the preliminary investigation status," which would have been May 5, 2003, 180 days after the case was initiated. The case file does not contain any indication that Carter was entered into or removed from VGTOF. At the time the Carter case was opened, FBI field offices were not required to enter subjects of domestic terrorism preliminary inquiries into VGTOF.

2. OIG Analysis

We concluded that the FBI's opening of a preliminary inquiry on Carter in August 2002, while tenuous, did not violate the Attorney General's Guidelines. The opening EC identified arrests of Carter since             in connection with animal rights protests, two of which occurred in different states and involved some degree of property damage. However, it took more than a year from when the preliminary inquiry expired for the FBI to close the case. We question the reason for such a delay, and believe the case should have been closed upon expiration of the preliminary inquiry.


136 Randy Carter is a pseudonym.



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