Houston couple arrested for animal crush videos

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HOUSTON, Texas - A Houston couple was indicted for the production and distribution of "animal crush videos," prosecutors said.

Ashley Nicole Richards, 22, and Brent Justice, 51, were arrested on Aug. 15 and held on animal cruelty charges, according to United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

The videos contained animals in an obscene nature. The charges are based on eight videos that involved puppies, chickens, and kittens that were tortured and killed in the videos, prosecutors said.

The indictment indicated the videos were created between February 2010 and August 2010, according to the Houston Police Department.

Houston Police said Richards and Justice face up to seven years in federal prison on each of the five animal crush charges and up to five years on each of the two obscenity charges.

The federal law defines "animal crush videos" as any photograph, motion-picture film, video or digital recording that depicts living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury, and is obscene.

The pair could face possible fines of $250,000 on each conviction and at least three years of supervised release to follow any prison terms.

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