Criminal trespassing charges against 44 people who protested outside a Somerset power plant last month have been dismissed.

    A spokesman for the Bristol County district attorney's office says the protesters had their cases dismissed in exchange for paying $100 in court costs.

    The defendants appeared in groups of eight to 10 for their arraignments at Fall River District Court. Their cases were dismissed the same day of their arraignments.

    Police Chief Joe Ferreira tells The Herald News the $4,400 collected will help defray about 50 percent of overtime costs the Somerset Police Department incurred.

    About 300 people protested outside the coal-fired Brayton Point plant on July 28. The protesters say the plant is a threat to public health.  (Associated Press)