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Photographer arrested for taking pics of feedlot

A New Jersey aerial photographer is facing misdemeanor charges after he reportedly took pictures of a feedlot located near Garden City, Kansas. The man, who was on assignment from National Geographic, was arrested in the Kansas town on June 28. He was taking pictures of the feedlot while paragliding with an instructor. Both of the men were held at the local jail for a short period of time before being released on small bonds.

The man, who has worked for The New Yorker, Smithsonian magazine and a variety of other high-profile publications, generally uses a motorized paraglider to take aerial pictures.

Authorities report the man was arrested under the "ag gag" law that exists in Kansas. That law, known as the Farm Animal and Field Crop and Research Facilities Protection Act, was the first such statute in the nation. It was signed into law some 23 years ago. That law prevents members of the general public from entering or taking photographs of a private agriculture operation without permission.

National Geographic has come out in support of the man, stating that leaders at the company do not believe the photographer broke any laws with his work. The man was taking photographs for a series of journalistic features about food issues throughout the world. The magazine has already stated it will provide for the man's legal defense as necessary.

State authorities in Kansas have asserted the two men were held because they violated the rights of private landholders.

In this case, both defendants would be wise to consult the services of a qualified criminal defense attorney. Even though the case is a simple misdemeanor, a qualified attorney can help minimize the financial and legal impact of such charges. No matter how minor your criminal charge may seem, consider seeking the assistance of an experienced lawyer to help you learn more about your legal rights. These professionals can help you build the best possible defense in your criminal case.

Source:, "George Steinmetz, National Geographic photographer, arrested taking photos of Kansas feedlot" Rachel Tepper, Jul. 11, 2013

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