Prosecutors Appeal Plans for Mooney's Release

Prosecutors Appeal Plans for Mooney's Release

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal magistrate has ruled that James "Flaming Eagle" Mooney may be released from federal custody, but an appeal by prosecutors will prevent the release until at least tomorrow.

James and Linda Mooney of Spanish Fork were arrested last month on felony drug charges for their involvement in peyote ceremonies for the Oklevueha EarthWalks Native American Church, which the couple founded in 1997.

Linda Mooney was released at a detention hearing last week, but U-S Magistrate Judge Sam Alba ordered James Mooney held, contending he could be a danger to the community.

Alba ruled yesterday that James Mooney could be released on several court-imposed conditions, one of which is that he not use or possess any controlled substance -- including peyote -- while the case against him is pending.

Mooney will stay in custody until U-S District Judge Ted Stewart conducts a hearing on the issue tomorrow.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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