Court DISMISSES more than 80 charges against business owner who pushed back against COVID-19 orders

by Hailey Gomez

Photo: Alamy

A New Jersey court over the weekend dismissed 80 charges brought against Ian Smith, co-owner of Atilis Gym, who pushed back against COVID-19 orders in 2020.

Smith’s attorney, John McCann, stated Tuesday that the charges were dropped after prosecutors in the case failed to appeal a Winslow Township judge’s dismissal of the allegations, according to Smith commented on the victory, stating his comments in a post on X.

“This victory opens the battlefield again and gives us options to continue to push back and bring justice to the treasonous actions of Phil Murphy and his lackies. Again, thank you to all who supported us. We could not have done it without you,” Smith stated.

Issues began to pile up for Smith in May 2020, when his state, led by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, was placed on a lockdown due to COVID-19. reported that Smith defied the orders by keeping his business open, although it was labeled as nonessential.

While local authorities arrested some gym members leaving the facility, Smith and his co-owner Frank Trumbetti were fined over $165,000 and given over 80 summonses that accused them of violating Murphy’s orders, “operating without a mercantile license, creating a public nuisance, and disturbing the peace,” according to the outlet.

The summons against Smith had been charged by the Bellmawr Police Department, carrying a possibility of six months in jail. Additionally, Smith face the possibility of being fined $15,000 per day after refusing to close his gym, however, Smith and Trumbetti refused to listen to the orders, according to NBC News.

“When you look at this, it didn’t make a lot of sense at the time. It kind of looked like they were throwing everything they could at these guys,” McCann told the outlet.

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