CRIME

Two men accused of stealing dying piglets from Utah farm face charges

Oct 5, 2022, 5:00 PM
Protestors at the stolen piglets trial...
Supporters outside Fifth District Court in St. George, Utah Tuesday morning (Direct Action Everywhere)
(Direct Action Everywhere)

ST. GEORGE, Utah — The trial involving two stolen piglets reportedly in distress continues in St. George with more than 100 supporters rallying behind the two defendants, Paul Picklesimer and Wayne Hsiung. 

The men are accused of burglarizing the nation’s largest pig farm in alleged attempts to save two piglets in distress. Their trial began on Monday with Picklesimer being represented by an attorney. A former law professor, Hsiung is representing himself. 

The latest on the stolen piglets trial

The case is expected to last until the end of the week or early next week. The court is expected to hear testimonies from veterinary experts. 

The supporters of the defendants believe the politics driving this prosecution are corrupt.

“The judge, prosecution and prosecution’s witnesses are predictably eager to avoid any discussion of the condition of the rescued pigs and Smithfield facility they were kept in,” said Matt Johnson of Direct Action Everywhere.

“Which reveal(s) this to be a case about intimidation and suppressing speech, not the “theft” of a few sick piglets of little-to-no commercial value.” 

Background

According to court documents, the FBI found it easy to track the case. All whereabouts of the pigs and identities of those helping the rescue operation were traceable by various social media posts. 

After investigating the posts, the FBI said it found “detailed events [that] show they committed criminal acts of trespassing, theft, and burglary against the commercial meat industry.”

Investigators said Picklesimer and Hsiung have faced prior charges for similar situations involving livestock theft.

The FBI said one instance showed evidence of the same suspects stealing turkeys from a Norbert farm in Utah. Those burglaries were reportedly an attempt to promote an animal rescue project called DxE Mission by their organization (Direct Action Everywhere).

After this case, the two suspects could face 10 years or more in prison.

 

Related reading: Nation’s largest pig farm facing criminal charges

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Two men accused of stealing dying piglets from Utah farm face charges