A Salt Lake City environmental activist who was given a federal prison sentence last year for fraudulently buying up oil leases at a 2008 auction returned to Salt Lake City on Wednesday after a year behind bars, but he remains a federal inmate.
Timothy DeChristopher's attorney, Patrick Shea, confirmed that his client took a train from Denver to Salt Lake, where a cab waited to take him directly to a halfway house at 1865 W. 2100 South. The federal Bureau of Prisons granted DeChristopher the less restrictive setting to finish out his sentence because of good behavior.
DeChristopher posed as a bidder at an oil and gas lease auction held by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Salt Lake City in December 2008 in order to call attention to environmental harms caused by drilling. He successfully bid nearly $1.8 million on 14 parcels, shutting out other bidders and driving up prices on other leases. When it realized what was happening, the BLM halted the auction.