Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ammon Bundy's bodyguard Brian Cavalier pleads guilty to two federal charges

Ammon Bundy's bodyguard, Brian Cavalier, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to impede federal workers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and carrying guns in offices, sleeping quarters and other buildings there. Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel said the government will recommend a prison sentence ranging from one year and three months to one year and nine months for Cavalier, the first defendant in Bundy's inner circle to accept a plea deal. The negotiated sentence falls far below the maximum penalties for the two federal charges -- six years in prison for the conspiracy offense and five years for possessing firearms in a federal facility. Cavalier also is the first of the 26 defendants indicted in the conspiracy case to plead guilty to the firearms charge. Five others had the gun charge dismissed after they pleaded guilty to the single charge of conspiring to impede employees for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management from doing their work at the eastern Oregon refuge during the 41-day armed occupation. "These are the times that try men's souls, and Mr. Cavalier did what he felt is best for his case,'' Cavalier's attorney, Todd Bofferding, said in a statement after the hearing. "Mr. Cavalier still loves America no matter what.'' Whatever sentence Cavalier, 45, of Bunkerville, Nevada, receives could run consecutively with a sentence imposed in Nevada if Cavalier is convicted there on a federal indictment pending against him in the 2014 standoff with federal officers near the Bundy ranch. Cavalier identified himself as the personal bodyguard of Ammon Bundy and Bundy's parents Cliven and Carol, on a video posted on the internet Sept. 9, federal prosecutors have said. Cavalier did work as a ranch hand for Cliven Bundy in exchange for room and board for several years, according to his attorney. Cavalier, dressed in striped gray jail scrubs, told the court he accepted responsibility for the offenses and said he was "fully aware'' of the conditions of the agreements reached with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon...more

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