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Conviction of Utah environmental activist upheld

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - An appeals court has affirmed the conviction and two-year federal sentence of an environmental activist who disrupted an oil and gas auction for land near Utah's national parks.
BRIAN SKOLOFF
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - An appeals court has affirmed the conviction and two-year federal sentence of an environmental activist who disrupted an oil and gas auction for land near Utah's national parks.

Tim DeChristopher had sought relief from the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. He claimed the case should be overturned because his move was considered civil disobedience intended to protect the environment from an auction he believed to be illegal.

Prosecutors argued that his intentions didn't matter, that he broke the law when he made bids for parcel lands he knew he wasn't going to pay for.

DeChristoper was convicted last year for fraudulently bidding on the leases in an effort to keep the parcels undeveloped.

In a ruling Friday, the appeals court found the conviction and sentence were proper punishment.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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