In early October, a grand jury indicted three animal rights activists in a series of break-ins at Wegmans Egg Farm in Wolcott, New York.
Adam Durand, 25; Melanie Ippolito, 21; and Megan Cosgrove,22, were indicted on several counts each including burglary, criminal mischief, petty larceny and criminal trespass.
The three activists allegedly broke into the egg farm several times in May and August 2004. They videotaped conditions at the facility and later released a short video through their group Compassionate Consumers. The activists also removed 11 hens from the facility.
Although not indicted, Compassionate Consumers activist Jodi Chemes was fired from her job at Deloitte & Touche after publicizing the tape’s release (Wegmans is a client of Deloitte & Touche).
According to the Times of Wayne County,
In the initial arraignment, it is alleged that the Durand and Ippolito used wire cutters to gain access to the manure rooms below the chicken houses. It was also stated that they took a total of 8 hens from the buildings on at least two occasions.
The grand jury indictment has Durand charged with three counts each of Felony Burglary in the 3rd Degree, Misdemeanor Petit Larceny and Criminal Trespass. Ippolito was charged with two counts each and Cosgrove with one count each.
The Times also reported that Compassionate Consumers offered to end its campaign against Wegmans if the egg producer agreed to reduce or drop the charges against the activists (the prosecutor in the case has said he will not reduce or drop the charges without Wegmans’ consent), but apparently the company refused such a deal.
Jury indicts 3 in Wegmans Egg Farm case. Misty Edgecomb, Democrat and Chronicle, October 4, 2005.
Trio plucked by County Grand Jury for WegmanÂ’s Chicken Farm break-in. Times of Wayne County, 2005.