Last Occupiers Of Oregon Wildlife Refuge Surrender To FBI
Surrounded by FBI agents in armored vehicles, the last four occupiers of a national wildlife refuge surrendered Thursday, and the leader of a 2014 standoff with federal authorities was criminally charged in federal court.
The holdouts were the last remnants of the group that seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2 and demanded that the government turn over the land to locals and release two ranchers imprisoned for setting fires.
Meanwhile, Cliven Bundy, who was at the center of a 2014 standoff at his ranch in Nevada, was arrested late Wednesday in Portland after encouraging the Oregon occupiers not to give up. Bundy is the father of Ammon Bundy, the jailed leader of the most recent occupation.
On Thursday, the elder Bundy was charged in the 2014 standoff. Federal authorities may have feared Bundy’s presence would draw sympathizers to defend the holdouts.
A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas charged the 69-year-old Bundy with conspiracy, assault on a federal officer, obstruction, weapons charges and other crimes. He’s accused of leading supporters who pointed military-style weapons at federal agents trying to enforce a court order to round up Bundy cattle from federal rangeland.
It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer to represent him ahead of a court appearance in federal court in Portland.
Federal authorities say the Bundy family has not made payments toward a $1.1 million grazing fee and penalty bill.
The holdouts and 12 others connected with the occupation have been charged with conspiracy to interfere with federal workers.
A live stream of a telephone call indicated that the last four occupiers had surrendered Thursday morning.
The occupiers were 27-year-old David Fry of Blanchester, Ohio; Jeff Banta, 46, of Elko, Nevada; and married couple Sean Anderson, 48, and Sandy Anderson, 47, of Riggins, Idaho.
In the live stream, Fry said the three others had surrendered but he refused to. He later said he was giving up. The FBI did not immediately confirm that the three surrendered.
- Amelia Templeton, multimedia reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. She tweets @ameliaOPB.