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Activist Scott DeMuth gets 6 months for raid on ferret farm

For Immediate Release
February 11, 2011

Activist Scott DeMuth gets 6 months for raid on ferret farm

February 14, 2011
Quad City Times

A 23-year-old man who released ferrets from a Minnesota farm in 2006 was taken into custody at his sentencing in U.S. District Court, Davenport, on Monday.

Scott DeMuth of Minneapolis had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor conspiracy charge and was sentenced by Judge John Jarvey to six months in prison. DeMuth admitted to releasing ferrets from Lakeside Ferret Inc. in Minnesota in April 2006 and causing damage to computers and records.

The charge is a misdemeanor because the damage was less than $10,000. He is not ordered to pay any restitution. His attorney, Michael Deutsch, said the judge not allowing his client to self-surrender was “unfair” and said the case has been “politically motivated” from the beginning.

Deutsch had argued that DeMuth serve his sentence under house arrest or in a halfway house instead of prison, saying DeMuth is in the process of completing a graduate degree and volunteers to help the American Indian population.

DeMuth's parents said they were stunned that he was ordered into custody right away. “This case has never been fair,” Laurene DeMuth said. “The judge has been vindictive all along.”

Prosecutor Cliff Cronk said DeMuth's actions caused the operator of Lakeside Ferret Inc. to go out of business. “It was an act of cowardice under the cover of darkness,” Cronk said.

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