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Jacksonville woman sentenced to federal prison for funding ‘animal crush’ videos

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville woman will spend four years and three months in federal prison for pleading guilty to conspiracy to create and distribute animal crush videos.

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Action News Jax first told you when Nicole DeVilbiss, 35, was arrested in November.

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“Animal crushing” is defined under criminal law as “actual conduct in which one or more living, non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians, is purposely, crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impales, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury.”

An investigation by Homeland Security in September 2023 found numerous people involved in group exchanges of hundreds to possibly thousands of messages about the abuse and torture of monkeys. This included videos depicting that torture.

Court documents revealed those involved agreed to create crush animal videos using people overseas, including Indonesia. The videos would then be sent to the United States.

The investigation led to Devilbiss being identified as part of the group. Her involvement was to help fund the creation of these videos using online payments.

RELATED: Jacksonville mom pleads guilty for conspiracy to create, distribute ‘animal crush’ videos

Search warrants executed by law enforcement of Devilbiss’s home turned up numerous videos of monkeys being tortured on several electronic devices. They also located a journal detailing her interest in obtaining a monkey locally to abuse to create additional content.

“This investigation uncovered an unsettling underworld dedicated to the torment, torture, and exploitation of innocent animals,” Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tallahassee Assistant Special Agent in Charge Nicholas Ingegno said. “Through our relentless pursuit of justice, alongside our Sheriffs with Clay County, Jacksonville, and St. Johns County, we have exposed a network of depraved people inflicting unspeakable cruelty on monkeys, who record their suffering and share it for profit and perverse pleasure.”

The Department of Justice said this case was investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, and Homeland Security Investigations.

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