- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

VERNAL, Utah (AP) - Twenty-five protesters who were arrested last summer for disrupting operations at an eastern Utah oil sands operation have each been sentenced to serve community service in plea deals approved Thursday.

A judge in Uintah County accepted no-contest pleas from 25 people on misdemeanor charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Uintah County Attorney Mark Thomas says the sentences ranged from 40 hours to 120 hours.

Utah Tar Sands Resistance spokeswoman Raphael Cordray says two of the 25 attended Thursday’s hearing in Vernal. The others entered their pleas through sworn documents filed with the court.

The protesters were arrested in July and September for disrupting operations at the mine in the Book Cliffs area. It’s being developed by Calgary-based U.S. Oil Sands.

The Uintah County Sheriff’s Office said demonstrators locked themselves onto machinery while others blocked deputies’ vehicles.

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