Wednesday, January 13, 2016

'Every gun in house is loaded' -- scare tactics rattle residents near Oregon occupation

The evening was supposed to be a prelude to Christmas for a local pastor and his family, but now more than three weeks later, they keep their curtains closed, doors locked and a sharp lookout for the strangers who haunted their holidays that night. Fear of the militants occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and roaming the communities of Burns and Hines sits like a heavy winter fog over the area. More than a dozen local residents have reported to authorities that they were harassed in the weeks leading up to the occupation and in the days since. Different trucks, SUVs and other vehicles — most with out-of-state licenses — have followed the residents. Four of the people who filed reports agreed to share their accounts with The Oregonian/OregonLive only if their names and identifying information were withheld because they feared further harassment. Law enforcement sources confirmed each had reported the episodes. Jason Patrick of the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, the self-styled militia at the refuge, said Tuesday the group had no role in any intimidation. "It's never been us," he said. "It would serve no purpose."...more

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