Ammon Bundy, Ammon Bundy’s lawyer, arrest, “Bundy militia”, “force intimidation or threats”, “stand down”, “take charge”, “We can’t fight if you die”, barricades, Billy Graham’s son, BLM, Bundy Brothers, Burns OR, charges against Cliven Bundy, Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, Cliven Bundy, Cliven Bundy Criminal Complaint, condition, conspiracy to impede officers of U.S., David Fry, dialogue, en route to community meeting, FBI, FBI checkpoint, FBI occupation, FBI taking action, federal charges, federal indictment, grazing fees, grazing rights, Greg Breitzing, Harney County OR, Jeff Banta, killed, leave refuge, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Michael Arnold, Michele Fiore, Multnomah County Jail, negotiations, Nevada, Nevada Assemblywoman, not surrendering, occupation, occupiers, Oregon, Portland Airport, Portland OR, Probable Cause, Rev. Franklin Graham, Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, Ryan Bundy, Samaritan’s Purse, Sandy Anderson, Sean Anderson, statement, turning selves in
Oregon — The four remaining protesters at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore., agreed to turn themselves in, but not “surrender,” to the FBI the morning of Feb. 11 after an intense standoff late Wednesday night.
Update: The coming out of protesters started at 11:40 a.m. CT with Sean and Sandy Anderson, followed by Jeff Banta. The FBI had been waiting for the arrival of Michelle Fiore, Franklin Graham and Michael Arnold. Conclusion was delayed by over an hour of dialogue with David Fry, who spoke of his grievances about the government, his reluctance to agree with the deal and his fears. At one point he threatened suicide, but he finally surrendered just before 1 p.m. CT. Now all four are in FBI custody.
Also Wednesday night Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, 74, was arrested by the FBI at Portland International Airport and was booked into the Multnomah County Jail in Portland at 10:54 p.m. Cliven is the father of protest leader Ammon Bundy, 40, and his older brother Ryan, both being held at the same jail without bond on federal charges.
The elder Bundy had been headed to the wildlife refuge to “take charge.” He did not want the four to leave and said he would be seeking outside support for their cause. He has been involved with a dispute with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over grazing fees on federal lands since 1998, and has not paid any such fees since then. After considerable wrangling, he has been left alone for the last couple years. He faces federal charges of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States; assault on a federal officer by uses of deadly and dangerous weapon; use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence; interference with commerce by extortion; use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, and obstruction of the administration of justice, all related to a 2014 protest at his Nevada ranch. To view the 32-page criminal complaint document for the case, click Cliven Bundy Complaint.
Update: The elder Bundy Tuesday was denied bail, as a flight risk and danger to the community. Cliven, Ammon and Ryan, along with Ryan Payne and Peter Santilli Wednesday were indicted on the Nevada charges by a federal grand jury. Cliven is scheduled to face a preliminary hearing on the above charges Friday in Las Vegas.
Cliven Bundy’s arrest came shortly after the FBI moved to surround the remaining occupiers’ camp site.
According to an FBI statement, the move was made after one of the occupiers rode an ATV at 4:30 p.m. local time outside the enclosure where the handful of occupiers have been barricaded. “FBI Agents attempted to approach the driver. and he returned to the encampment at a high rate of speed,” the statement said. The FBI moved to “contain” the remaining four by posting agents at the barricades in front of and behind the camp site.
“We reached a point where it became necessary to take action in a way that best ensured the safety of those on the refuge, the law enforcement officers who are on scene and the people of Harney County who live and work in this area,” said Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. “It has never been the FBI’s desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue.”
Still at the wildlife refuge were David Fry, 27, of Blanchester, Ohio; Sean Anderson, 48, and his wife Sandy Anderson, 47, from Riggins, Idaho; and Jeff Banta, 46, of Elko, Nev. They lately have called themselves Citizens for Constitutional Freedom.
In the ensuing four-plus hours of negotiations, which reportedly were live streamed over YouTube, Fry yelled, “You’re going to hell. Kill me. Get it over with. We’re innocent people camping at a public facility, and you’re going to kill us. . . . The only way we’re leaving here is dead, or without charges.”
However, Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, an ally of Cliven Bundy, soon joined in the conversation and tried to act as a mediator. She was joined by Michael Arnold, Ammon Bundy’s attorney.
The four eventually agreed to turn themselves in in the morning, provided that Fiore will be there as a witness. Joining her at the scene will be Rev. Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization.
The four were among the 16 named in a federal indictment released Feb. 3. To view that indictment, click INDICTMENT BUNDYS 2-3-16
During the night’s conversations, Fiore told the occupiers, “A grand jury has issued an indictment outside the Constitution, and we can fight that, but we can’t fight if you die. . . . You guys have to come out. You need to stand down.”
Later Sean Anderson said he spoke with the FBI and that he and three other holdouts agreed to turn themselves in at an FBI checkpoint at 8 a.m. Thursday. Anderson said they would leave their weapons in their vehicles and walk to a checkpoint established nearby, carrying an American flag.
“We’re not surrendering. We’re turning ourselves in. It’s going against everything we believe in,” said Anderson.
Prior to the indictment, Ammon Bundy, through his lawyer, had encouraged the four to “stand down” and leave the refuge. However, he reversed his position after the indictment and wanted them to remain.
The Bundy brothers were in jail following the arrest of several original members of the takeover group Jan. 26 on federal felony charges of “conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats.” One person, Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, was killed during a confrontation with the FBI and state troopers after fleeing a police roadblock. Protesters in two vehicles were en route to a community meeting to promote their cause. One vehicle already had been stopped.
To view the 32-page probable cause statements for the charges against the protesters, click Militia criminal complaint and probable causes.
Today marked the 41st day of the occupation by the “Bundy militia.”