The man who led police to raid a Silver Spring medical center for animal research on Friday is the president of an animal protection society and was seeking publicity for his cause, the principal researcher at the lab charged yesterday.
Dr. Edward Taub of the Institute for Behavioral Research said Alex Pacheco had "completely misrepresented his motives" when he joined the laboratory staff as a volunteer four months ago. Pacheco, a 23-year-old student at George Washington University, supplied Montgomery County police with documents and photographs he took of monkeys he said were abused in studies while he worked there.
"It is reasonable to assume," Taub said, "that he Pacheco had a preconceived notion that research on animals is bad and he wanted to find a lab where he could collect ammunition for his cause."
Seized by police in the raid were 17 monkeys with lesions and open wounds and monkeys who had gnawed their paws to the bone after having their nervous systems numbed for lab experiments.
Pacheco said yesterday that he founded People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization with chapters in three states, in the summer of 1980, "because so much animal abuse is going on and receives no attention."
When he applied for work at the institute, Pacheco said, he had no idea what kind of animals were used in the lab and was unaware that the center received grants from the National Institutes of Health.
His group had protested at NIH in April in a campaign to ensure that agricultural animals are allowed water while awaiting slaughter. On the same day, the U.S Department of Agriculture inspected the Institute for Behavioral Research and recorded no health violations.
Pacheco said he applied at the institute because it is close to his organization's office. He said he volunteered only to gain lab experience and that he had "no idea this would ever come about."
But he said, "It ended up that . . . I really wanted to expose him for what he was doing. He should be locked up for what he was doing."
Taub described Pacheco as "a personable and articulate young man" who had "no training whatsoever in a laboratory."
Taub said that pictures of the monkeys taken by Pacheco and appearing in yesterday's Washington Post were "deceptive." He said the practices pictured -- a monkey strapped to a restraining device and a monkey with one arm strapped to its body for an experiment -- are standard in most research labs.
However, Pacheco invited five animal researchers from around the country, at his organization's expense, to inspect conditions at the lab. All five signed the affidavit that Pacheco filed with the Montgomery County police.
Pacheco also said police discovered two large trash bins in the food storage area of the lab that contained the bodies of dead monkeys floating in a dark liquid. He said they still wore bandages from experiments. Pacheco also said Taub displayed on his desk a monkey's paw with fur, nails and skin.
Taub said yesterday that the monkeys in the bins were being preserved in embalming fluid for future experiments and that the monkey's paw was a momento from a Japanese scientist who trained him more than 20 years ago.