Jeff Dietrich begins 4 month prison sentence today for anti-nuclear action; two other Catholic Workers soon to follow

Holding-Banner.6693from the Los Angeles Catholic Worker

Three Catholic Workers were sentenced to federal prison on April 21 for their nonviolent action at Vandenberg Air Force Base on August 8, 2015. Jeff Dietrich (Los Angeles Catholic Worker) and Dennis Apel (Guadalupe Catholic Worker) each received a four month sentence, and David Omondi (Los Angeles Catholic Worker) received a 2 month sentence. The men are required to self-surrender on different dates in early May.

On April 21, Jeff and Dennis had to appear for a status hearing regarding their probation sentence back on March 17, which both refused to cooperate with for reasons of conscience. After questioning each defendant on why they did not comply, and if they realized the seriousness of their action, the court issued a sentence of 120 days (four months) to each. The judge accepted the Probation Department’s recommendation for Jeff’s sentence, however, for Dennis the court rejected both the Probation Department’s recommendation of 30 days and the government’s recommendation of 60 days, instead issuing the same 120 days administered to Jeff.

David Omondi was present for sentencing for the August 8, 2015 witness at Vandenberg AFB. The court at first issued six month supervised probation with 200 hours community service plus a $100 fine and $35 in court costs. However, after David explained to Magistrate Judge Louise LaMonthe that he prefer not having probation since he wants to return to Kenya as soon as possible and would likely not abide by probation regulations, the judge reconsidered and changed the sentence to 60 days incarceration in federal prison.

All three are required to self-surrender at the downtown Los Angeles Roybal Federal Building: Jeff on Monday, May 2, David on Tuesday, May 3, and Dennis on Monday May 9. It is not yet known where each will serve their sentence. Updates and prison addresses will be posted here.