In 2004, several separate FBI investigations into the animal rights and environmental movements were combined into Major Case #220, also called Operation Backfire. On December 7, 2005, the FBI’s “Operation Backfire” revealed its public face. That day, seven people living in four different states— Chelsea Gerlach, Darren Thurston, William Rodgers, Kendall Tankersley (Sarah Kendall Harvey), Kevin Tubbs, Daniel McGowan, and Stanislas Meyerhoff—were arrested in connection with a variety of sabotage actions.
Kevin is a 28 year-old activist from the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. A vegan since age 15, Kevin has been involved in numerous animal rights campaigns since the mid-2000s, including vegan outreach, anti-vivisection work, and a tour with Sea Shepherd.
Rebecca served a 5-year sentence for arson and conspiracy charges stemming from Earth Liberation Front actions that occurred between 1996 and 2001, including the arson of the Vail Ski Resort Expansion and US Forest Industries. She also participated in the liberation of horses and the arson of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse Facilities in Litchfield, California and Burns, Oregon.
In 1999, Heather, along with Greg Avery and Natasha Dellemagne, set up Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) with the aim of closing Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), a contract animal-testing company based in Cambridgeshire.
Nicholson was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment in January 2009 for conspiracy to blackmail in connection with the SHAC campaign. Nicholson pleaded not guilty to the charges.
She was released on February 11, 2012 after serving 5 and half years of her 11 year sentence.