SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Samuel J. Webster, 20, of Farmington, Utah, was sentenced today to 12 months and one day imprisonment, a fine of $5,500, and term of three years supervised release. The sentence, ordered by Federal District Court Judge David Sam, comes after Webster pleaded guilty to animal torture via animal crushing and posting multiple videos of the animal cruelty on YouTube in Oct. 2021.
According to court documents, and admissions made during his change of plea hearing in August 2023, Mr. Webster purposefully engaged in animal crushing by purchasing a male guinea pig from a pet supply store in Farmington, Utah. Webster then purposefully subjected the guinea pig to serious injury and posting videos of the abuse on YouTube. See former news release here.
“The animal torture committed by Mr. Webster was not only illegal but inhumane and cruel,” said U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins of the District of Utah. “Torture of any kind to an animal is unacceptable. Our office will work with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute all crimes of this nature.”
“Animals deserve to be treated humanely which is why the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act was passed in 2019,” said Special Agent in Charge Shohini Sinha of the Salt Lake City FBI. “Evidence shows that intentional animal cruelty can also be a precursor to other violent crimes. We are grateful for the public's assistance reporting this horrific abuse so law enforcement could put a stop to it and have Mr. Webster face the consequences."
The FBI Salt Lake Field Office investigated the case with valuable assistance by the Woods Cross Police Department.
The United States Attorney’s Office of the District of Utah prosecuted the case.
If you are aware of animal cruelty, please report it to law enforcement or call 1-800-CALL-FBI or leave a tip at tips.fbi.gov.