Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bundy defendants interviewed in undercover FBI operation

Undercover FBI agents posed as documentary filmmakers for a production titled “America Reloaded” to draw statements from the men who rushed to support rancher Cliven Bundy in his 2014 stand against the federal government. The undercover operation has been alluded to in previous court filings, but it was detailed in federal court Wednesday when FBI Special Agent Charles Johnson testified as a government witness in the trial against six men accused of conspiring to block Bureau of Land Management agents from impounding Bundy’s cattle. Agents videotaped undercover interviews with, among other people, Scott Drexler and Eric Parker — two of the defendants in the first trial. Federal prosecutors played the videos in court Wednesday during Johnson’s testimony, and in doing so, gave jurors a window into the defendants’ minds. Drexler told the undercover agent he drove to the Bundy family ranch after reading about the protests online. “What I was looking for was just a show of support … it seems as if when there are armed people around a situation, then the authorities have to be a little more civil, have to treat you like a person,” he said. “If nobody is facing any kind of consequences for their actions, they can just do whatever they want.” When asked what protesters’ objective was on April 12, 2014, when they arrived en masse to the Gold Butte area where federal agents were impounding cattle, Drexler replied: “Basically the objective that I think there was was just a show of force.”...more

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