Wegmans Cruelty: An Unofficial Blog

This is an unofficial blog and informational archive related to the WEGMANSCRUELTY film and resulting campaign.

Please see that page for more information.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

(October 4, 2005) — Three animal rights activists have been indicted on charges alleging a series of break-ins at Wegmans Egg Farm in Wolcott, Wayne County.

Adam Durand, Melanie Ippolito and Megan Cosgrove were each indicted on several counts by a Wayne County grand jury last week, their attorney, Eric Schneider of Kingston, Ulster County, verified Monday.

The charges include varying degrees of burglary, criminal mischief, petty larceny and criminal trespass. If found guilty, each could face several years in prison.

Durand, Ippolito and Cosgrove are accused of breaking into Wegmans' 750,000-hen egg production facility on three different occasions in July 2004 in hopes of capturing video of the hens' living conditions, which the activists believed to be cruel. Wegmans was targeted in part because the Wolcott facility is the largest in New York state.

The three are members of a Rochester-area group called Compassionate Consumers, which advocates for cage-free egg production.

Durand videotaped the visits, eventually producing a short film called Wegmans Cruelty, which was released last summer and has been screened locally. However, the activists also took nine injured hens from the facility, two of which later died.

Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale declined to comment on the indictments Monday afternoon.

Schneider said Monday that he hoped the case could be settled without jail time. "These are very nice young adults ... they shouldn't be in the criminal system. ... Their sole motive was out of concern for these animals."

Durand faces three counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief, three counts of third-degree burglary, three counts of third-degree criminal trespass, and three counts of petty larceny. Ippolito faces two counts of third-degree burglary, three counts of petty larceny and three counts of third-degree criminal trespass. Cosgrove faces one count each of third-degree burglary, petty larceny and third-degree criminal trespass.

Wayne County District Attorney Richard Healy, who is prosecuting the case, was not available for comment Monday.



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