Outrage arises as Pennsylvania authorities throw two farmers in jail for 30-day sentences | The Gateway expert

This article originally appeared on WND.com

Guest by post by Bob Unruh

Authorities argue there is no need for a sentencing hearing and a bail option

A state legal action in Pennsylvania is sparking outrage, both online and elsewhere, for the outcome it demands: two farmers are arrested and jailed with 30-day sentences, without a sentencing hearing and without the possibility of bail.

Authorities say this is the process they use for contempt charges, for which Ethan Wentworth of Airville, York County, and Rusty Herr of Christiana, Lancaster County, are serving prison sentences as of last month.

Broadcast channel WPMT in Harrisburg reported that the government's complaint concerns their company, NoBull Solutions, which helps dairy farmers with the reproductive management of livestock.

Here is a video podcast from Yanasa TV explaining the conflict:

Their lawyer, Robert Barnes, charges: “This is the craziest thing I've ever seen.”

The fight apparently stems from allegations that the two practiced veterinary medicine without a license to perform ultrasound tests on livestock, a procedure commonly used by farmers for a variety of reasons.

The result was an investigation by the state of Pennsylvania, where officials demanded that the two hand over their records.

They failed to do what state officials demanded, and the report notes that this resulted in contempt orders against the men.

State court officials told the broadcaster there is no bail option, and no “sentencing hearing” is required for contempt charges. Authorities simply arrest and jail the suspects, the report said.

Ultimately, a judge signed arrest warrants for the two, as well as orders to jail them in their respective counties, arrest warrants that were recently executed.

A critic of the two says there was sufficient due process, but Barnes made a statement:

This is an unlawful civil contempt order. There are certain procedures that must be followed in a civil contempt proceeding and to our knowledge they have not been followed here. Even if they were followed, the maximum allowable penalty is 15 days in prison, which must be conditional, with keys to your own prison cell – meaning there is a condition you can meet to end your confinement immediately. None of that is true in this case.

The state claims this is a punishment for failing to comply with a subpoena to turn over documents, but an agency cannot simply order anyone to turn over any document. For a subpoena to be valid, the legal validity of the subpoena must be established, and that was not done in this case. Both men had sought advice from an attorney about the matter and were told that the Veterinary Medical Board had no jurisdiction over them, therefore the subpoena was invalid and that Ethan and Rusty did not have to do anything.

There is no evidence that Ethan or Rusty ever saw the warrant the state allegedly sent them last August, threatening them with arrest if they did not comply. Ethan and Rusty didn't know this was possible. It was a complete shock to them and their families when they were arrested.

He explained that his clients were “denied the opportunity to see the case against them or NoBull Solutions because the state had sealed and hidden the docket – a highly unusual move.”

He said: “It appears the intention was to secretly come up with an excuse to arrest them and shut down NoBull Solutions without due process.”

He said he was pursuing an emergency motion to overturn the detention order.

Copyright 2024 WND News Center

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