Friday, February 12, 2016

Cliven Bundy to stay in jail until next week; 9 more charged; refuge to remain closed

A leader in the movement against federal land policy will stay in jail until his second court hearing next week. Cliven Bundy will be behind bars in the same jail housing his sons, the leaders of an armed group that occupied an Oregon wildlife refuge. The elder Bundy was arrested Wednesday night when he arrived in Portland from Las Vegas to visit sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy. Cliven Bundy was charged Thursday with leading a tense 2014 armed standoff with federal officials near his ranch in Nevada. At his first court appearance, he asked for a court-appointed attorney. U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart said she wanted to see financial documents first. She set a detention hearing for next Tuesday, and Bundy will stay in jail until then...Federal prosecutors say nine additional people from six states have been charged in connection with the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon says seven of them were arrested Thursday and two remain at large. That means a total of 25 people have been charged with the standoff. They all face the same felony count of conspiracy to interfere with federal workers. The newly charged include: Blaine Cooper of Arizona; Wesley Kjar of Utah; Corey Lequieu of Nevada; Neil Wampler of California, Jason Blomgren of North Carolina, and Darryl Thorn and Eric Flores, both of Washington state. The names of the two being sought haven't been released. Prosecutors say those in custody are scheduled to appear in federal court in the different states Thursday and Friday...The FBI says the Oregon wildlife preserve that was occupied by an armed group will remain closed for several weeks as authorities inspect the area and gather evidence. The last four occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge surrendered Thursday. The occupation began Jan. 2. At a news conference, Greg Bretzing, FBI special agent in charge in Oregon, said authorities would examine buildings at the refuge to ensure nobody else was hiding out. After that, he says specialized teams would look for "explosive-related hazards." He said that could take several days. Bretzing says the FBI's evidence team would collect material about any crimes that may have been committed during the occupation. Also, a special team would work with a local tribe to document any damage to artifacts and ancient burial grounds at the property...source

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