Judge grants leniency to both men
By Jennifer Jenks
Diamond ranchers Dwight Lincoln Hammond Jr., 70, and Steven Dwight Hammond, 43, were sentenced in U.S. District Court, District of Oregon, Oct. 30, with U.S. District Judge Michael R. Hogan presiding.
The pair were convicted of committing arson on federal lands in Pendleton in June.
The verdict came after a two-week trial and involved allegations that the Hammonds, owners of Hammond Ranches Inc., set a series of fires on lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), on which the Hammonds had grazing permits leased to them for their cattle operation.
Both defendants faced a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence, a maximum fine of $250,000 and restitution, but were granted leniency by the judge.
Dwight Hammond was found guilty of using fire to damage and destroy property of the United States. He was sentenced to three-months imprisonment and three-years post-prison supervision and ordered to report for the service of his sentence on Jan. 4, 2013. He was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the court. He was found not guilty of four other counts against him.
Steven Hammond was found guilty of two counts of using fire to damage and destroy property of the United States. He was sentenced to a total of 12 months and one day of prison time and three-years post-prison supervision, with an order to report for his sentence on the same date as his father. He was ordered to pay a $200 special assessment to the court. He was found not guilty of three other counts against him.
The case was investigated by the BLM and prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys Frank Papagni and AnneMarie Sgarlata.