BUFFALO, US. Artist Steve Kurtz, a member of the Critical Art Ensemble, has had the mail and wire fraud case against him dismissed by Federal Judge Richard J. Arcara.
In June 2004, Professor Kurtz was charged with mail and wire fraud stemming from an exchange of $256 worth of harmless bacteria with Dr. Robert Ferrell, Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. In May 2004, FBI agents and the Joint Terrorism Task Force had raided Kurtz’s home, seizing art works and research materials (as well as the bacteria) for the Marching Plague project, which aimed to critique the history and current status of biowarfare research. Despite this and initially being suspected of being a bioterrorist, Kurtz was able to reconstruct the research and produce the film Marching Plague, commissioned by The Arts Catalyst.
The prosecution has the right to appeal this dismissal. For more information about the case, please visit: caedefensefund.org