Tim DeChristopher, jailed for the past 18 months for disrupting federal oil and gas exploration auctions, has been released from prison. The remaining six months of his sentence to be served at a halfway house in Salt Lake City, the Deseret News reports.
On its Facebook page, Peaceful Uprising, the activist group DeChristopher founded, has said:
Obviously his friends, his family, his community is excited to have him back here in a halfway home, but we are going to respect whatever time he needs. We will honor that he is still serving time until April 2013.
DeChristopher will be transferred from Herlong Federal Prison in California to the halfway house on October 24. Once there, reports say he will be employed at a Unitarian Church under a work-release program.
If you're not up to speed on Tim's saga, check out the links to left, but here's the nutshell version:
In 2008 DeChristopher entered a federal oil and gas exploration lease auction. Assuming he was an industry bidder he was authorized to bid on leases. He won several, for which he, at the time, had no money to pay for—before anyone figured out that he was an activist. Afterwards he raised the money to pay for the leases, but the US government refused to accept payment. Eventually the whole auction was declared invalid, but DeChristopher was charged with misrepresenting himself at the auction. At trial the jury was not allowed to consider that the auction itself was invalidated or that the government refused to accept payment for the parcels won. Tim was convicted, appealed, and was sentenced to two years in federal prison.