Saturday, February 20, 2016

Bundy & Crew Charged in 2014 Showdown

Cliven Bundy and his crew will return to Nevada to face charges of leading an armed assault at Cliven Bundy's Bunkerville ranch in 2014 that endangered the lives of 50 federal officers. Brothers Ammon Bundy and Ryan Bundy, conservative radio host Pete Santilli and Montana electrician and militia member Ryan Payne were also named in the indictment. It's not yet clear whether those four defendants will travel back and forth between Nevada and Oregon, where they face federal conspiracy charges for their roles in the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Cliven Bundy has not yet been scheduled for arraignment, although earlier this week a federal judge in Oregon judge ordered him held until trial. But Payne, Santilli and Bundy's two sons will have arraignment hearings on March 17 in Las Vegas. The four men also have arraignment hearings in Portland, on the Malheur charges, on Feb. 24. The Nevada indictment lays out the incident at Cliven Bundy's Bunkerville, Nevada ranch - where the government says he and the other defendants organized more than 400 supporters into a violent, gun-toting mob that trapped about 50 federal officers in a low streambed and kept them from seizing the cattle that Bundy had illegally grazed on public land for 20 years. Cliven Bundy rallied the group on the morning of the April 12, 2014 standoff, telling them, "God is going to be with us, it's time to take our land back," before commanding them to get his cattle back from the feds, according to the indictment. Ammon and Ryan Bundy acted as generals during the assault, organizing followers on horseback, directing others who carried assault rifles and wore tactical gear to camouflage themselves among unarmed members of the crowd and negotiating the surrender of the federal officers, the indictment states. The indictment charges the five defendants with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer, use of a gun in a crime of violence, assault of a federal officer, threatening a federal officer, obstruction of justice, interference with interstate commerce by extortion and interstate travel in the aid of extortion. Each of the 16 charges carries a minimum sentence of between five and 20 years and a $250,000 fine...more

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