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CCSO helps U.S. Attorney get guilty plea from woman filming animal torture

Compiled by Don Coble
Posted 2/15/24

JACKSONVILLE – U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced Nicole Danielle Devilbiss, 35, of Jacksonville, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to create and distribute animal crush …

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CCSO helps U.S. Attorney get guilty plea from woman filming animal torture


Posted

JACKSONVILLE – U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced Nicole Danielle Devilbiss, 35, of Jacksonville, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to create and distribute animal crush videos. Devilbiss faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

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

The Clay County, St. Johns and Jacksonville sheriff’s offices and Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case.

According to the plea agreement, in September 2023, Homeland Security Investigations in Jacksonville received information regarding an individual residing in Jacksonville, who was identified as an administrator of a social media application group chat that was dedicated to the abuse, torture and death of various-aged monkeys.

The HSI investigation revealed that numerous people involved in the group exchanged hundreds of messages about the abuse and torture of monkeys, as well as videos depicting the abuse and torture of monkeys. The purpose of the group was to fund, view, distribute, and promote animal crush videos that depicted the torture, murder, and sadistic mutilation of animals, specifically baby and adult monkeys. The co-conspirators agreed to create animal crush videos using videographers and animals in other countries, to include Indonesia, which would then be sent to the United States.

The name of the group changed multiple times to innocuous names that were inconsistent with the goals and interests of the group, which appeared to be to avoid detection by law enforcement. 

This investigation led to the identification of Devilbiss as a group member. Law enforcement obtained some of those messages and videos that were exchanged involving her.

Devilbiss and her co-conspirators collectively funded the creation of animal crush videos using online payment applications. Co-conspirators outside the United States received this funding and used it create animal crush videos. Between April 14, 2022, and continuing through May 23, 2023, Devilbiss sent at least three payments to her co-conspirators using an online payment application to fund the creation of animal crush videos. The IP addresses from the Devilbiss’s transactions were tied to her internet account at her residence.

A federal search warrant was executed at her residence, and numerous electronic devices were seized. Devilbiss’s devices were reviewed and analyzed.  Law enforcement found numerous videos depicting the torture of monkeys.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ashley Washington and Elisibeth Adams are prosecuting it.