On Wed, 23 May 2018 21:20:00 -0000 (UTC), "Leroy N. Soetoro"
SALT LAKE CITY — Five California animal activists accused of stealing pigs
from a farm in Beaver and talking about their actions on social media now
face felony charges due in part to their own posts.
The Utah Attorney General's Office on Monday charged Wayne Hansen Hsiung,
37, of Berkeley; Paul Picklesimer, 40, of Berkeley; Samer Thomas
Masterson, 24, of San Francisco; Andrew George Sharo, 24, of Berkeley; and
Jonathan Frohnmayer, 33, of Santa Clara, with engaging in a pattern of
unlawful activity, two counts of burglary committed against an animal
enterprise, and theft of livestock, all second-degree felonies. All but
Masterson were also charged with riot, a class A misdemeanor.
Hsiung is the founder of the California-based animals rights group Direct
Action Everywhere, according to court documents.
On July 6, 2017, the Beaver County Sheriff's Office and the FBI were
notified of pigs being stolen from farms owned by Smithfield Foods. A
Smithfield Foods employee also told authorities that video of the theft
had appeared in a New York Times article, according to charging documents.
The story included a picture of two men holding piglets with the caption,
"Members of Direct Action Everywhere, an animal welfare group, removing
piglets from Circle Four Farms in Milford, Utah."
Investigators searching the internet for video found one that "showed that
three of the five defendants unlawfully entered onto Smithfield Foods
property and … walking through the barns and stealing two swine," the
charges state. "The fourth and fifth defendants contributed to the
criminal activity, were on the Smithfield Foods property at the time, and
assisted with the handling of the stolen swine."
There's no reason to steal such animals at the risk of going to jail etc. It
has been pointed out for these people countless times that if they want to do
something to try to help them which they very obviously can't do with a vegan
lifestyle, they should BUY animals that are going to soon be slaughtered and
then AFTER buying them provide them with a decent life of positive value. It has
been pointed out for Rupert, Goo and Derek many many times in regards to broiler
chickens and veal calves, and also white mice. Since they obviously don't really
care about trying to do that, what do you think their true objective really is?
In the New York Times article, Direct Action Everywhere talked about using
a virtual reality camera to expose bad practices in the meat industry.
In court documents, investigators stated they used the cameras to expose
who was responsible for the alleged break-in.
"The FBI and Beaver County Sheriff’s Office reviewed a copy of the
aforementioned video. The video is titled 'Operation Deathstar' and is an
approximately 11-minute video shot in 360-degree color footage. The video
footage or 'virtual reality video' allowed the viewer to pan the screen
around nearly the entire visible environment the camera captured. The
quality and digital attributes of the virtual reality footage made it
possible to identify the five defendants depicted in the video footage,"
according to the charges.
Investigators say the pigs were moved to Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary
in Herriman. A warrant was served on the farm in August, but the owners
claimed the pigs had been moved to Colorado by then, according to the
charges. Investigators believe the swines were moved to Luvin Arms Animal
Sanctuary in Erie, Colorado.
The same five men are also believed to have raided a Norbest turkey farm
in Moroni in January 2017, "and illegally stole three turkeys from the
facility to promote the 'open rescue' mission of DxE," the charges state.
They were charged earlier this month in 6th District Court with burglary
and theft of livestock.
Hsiung was also arrested in San Francisco in May 2017 for allegedly
trespassing on a poultry farm, and an arrest warrant was issued for him in
February in North Carolina on charges of burglarizing a goat farm, the