Activists charged with theft of live Norbest turkeys

Six people face criminal felony charges in Sanpete County, Utah, after being arrested on suspicion of stealing live turkeys that were being raised for processing by Norbest.

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Keith Syvinski, Freeimages.com
Keith Syvinski, Freeimages.com

Six people face criminal felony charges in Sanpete County, Utah, after being arrested on suspicion of stealing live turkeys that were being raised for processing by Norbest.

Five people have been charged with one count of felony burglary and felony poultry theft, while a sixth person has been charged with felony burglary, according to an Associated Press report published on News OK. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

All suspects in the case have been identified as members of Direct Action Everywhere (DxE). The suspects allege they were rescuing the turkeys they considered to be suffering and intended to take them to a veterinarian.

DxE, on its homepage and its Twitter feed, is pleading for people to sign a petition in hopes of convincing Sanpete County District Attorney Kevin Daniels to drop, the charges against the suspects. The organization further remarked that Danels should “represent the interests of ordinary, compassionate people, not violent corporations."

Second recent arrest for DxE co-founder

One of the DxE members arrested was the group’s co-founder, Wayne Hsiung. This mark’s Hsiung’s second arrest within just a matter of weeks. In late April, Hsiung, along with an underage member of DxE, was arrested on suspicion of trespassing at a Whole Foods Market store in Boulder, Colorado.

The duo was taken into custody after the pair was trying to film interviews with store customers and employee, in which people were asked questions about eating meat.

Another suspect tied to 2017 trespassing case

Hsiung is not the only suspect in the Norbest theft case to have faced previous criminal charges.

Also charged was DxE member Jonathan Frohmayer. In August 2017, Frohmayer was arrested on suspicion of trespassing after he allegedly refused to stop blocking a truck while on the property of Petaluma Poultry in Petaluma, California. Other activists were at the scene in Petaluma, but Frohmayer was the only person who allegedly refused to comply with police requests to move.

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