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Man given 2 years in prison for thwarting auction
Activist sentenced to 2 years in prison for thwarting gov't auction for leases near Utah parks
By The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) ' A Utah environmental activist has been sentenced to two years in prison for derailing a 2008 government auction of oil and gas leases near two national parks.

Tim DeChristopher was also given three years of probation and fined $10,000 on Tuesday. He was taken into custody immediately.

He was convicted of interfering with and making false representations at a government auction in March. The maximum sentence was 10 years in prison.

The 29-year-old former wilderness guide is the first person to be prosecuted for failing to make good on bids at a lease auction of Utah public lands. He ran up bids on 13 parcels totaling more than 22,000 acres near Arches and Canyonlands national parks.

DeChristopher says it was a civil disobedience act. Prosecutors wanted a stiff sentence, saying his lies harmed others.

The case has become a symbol of solidarity for environmentalists, including celebrities such as folk singer Peter Yarrow.

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