Animal-rights activist receives 30-day sentence

nj.com, Bear Hunting Magazine
07/14/2008

A Superior Court judge upheld a municipal court ruling and sentenced a Sussex County New Jersey animal-rights activist to 30 days in jail for resisting arrest during a bear-trap tampering incident last year.

Refusing to issue a stay pending appeal, Judge N. Peter Conforti ordered that Albert "Ali" Kazemian, 51, begin serving the term immediately. Kazemian was then handcuffed by two sheriff's officers and whisked away to the county jail.

"His conduct has been consistent to violate the law," said Conforti, noting that Kazemian's most recent conviction in Vernon was his third conviction for resisting arrest and obstruction of justice.

Kazemian, of Vernon, was most recently arrested on July 17, when he was caught by the state Division of Fish & Wildlife officers when he was allegedly pouring human urine from a gallon jug near a bear trap that had been set up on his neighbor's property. He allegedly poured the urine near the trap to deter bears from entering the trap.

Kazemian pleaded guilty in Vernon Municipal Court to obstruction of justice and resisting arrest, and was sentenced on December 18 to 30 days in jail. At the time, Bowkley had said a jail sentence was warranted because it was Kazemian's second conviction in Vernon for a similar offense.

In 2006, Kazemian was convicted in Vernon of resisting arrest and obstruction of justice for interfering with hunters during New Jersey's 2005 bear hunt.

But Sussex County Assistant Prosecutor Robin Lawrie pointed out, and Conforti agreed, that in addition to Kazemian's two convictions in Vernon he was also convicted of the same charges earlier in South Hackensack.

"Three times and you're out," said Lawrie.

The affirmation of the municipal court ruling against Kazemian came despite pleas for a reduced sentence from his attorney, Gina Calogero, and another animal-rights activist, Susan Kehoe.

Kehoe, 57, is herself facing disorderly conduct charges after being videotaped allegedly providing bags of sunflower seeds to bears in the backyard of her Vernon home in violation of a state law against feeding bears.



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