Monday, June 13, 2016

Feds: Evidence of firearms training during refuge standoff

FBI agents found evidence at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that occupiers used a boat launch area for firearms training, discovering about 1,685 spent shell casings there, according to a new federal complaint. The government is seeking the civil forfeiture of 50 guns and huge caches of ammunition that federal agents either seized from the refuge after the 41-day occupation or from defendants' cars and homes, the complaint says. Authorities earlier seized 14 other guns in or near the refuge in January. The government must file for forfeiture of evidence within 120 days of its seizure. Notices will go out to owners of the weapons, who have the right to challenge the forfeitures.  FBI agents searched the refuge grounds and buildings after the last four people surrendered, from Feb. 12 through Feb. 23, the complaint says. They found most of the guns at the outside encampment on the refuge's west side where the holdouts of the occupation camped during the final two weeks, according to the complaint: at least six rifles, two handguns and boxes of shotgun shells and assorted ammunition there. They also found shotgun shells in one of three trenches that occupiers dug at the site, FBI special agent Katherine Armstrong wrote in the complaint...more

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