Monday, July 31, 2017

Bundy supporter Burleson sentenced to 68 years in prison

Gregory Burleson, a member of Arizona militia groups who participated in the 2014 armed standoff in Bunkerville, was sentenced Wednesday to more than 68 years in federal prison. Burleson, 53, was photographed with a long gun during the standoff, moving around the sandy wash where federal agents were headquartered. The Bureau of Land Management was in Bunkerville to carry out a court order to round up rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle from public lands. The operation was unsuccessful after hundreds of protesters, many armed, descended on the small rancher town in southwest Nevada. “Yes, I was down in the wash. I went down there with the intention to see what was going on,” Burleson said during his sentencing hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.”I did not go down there with the intention of assaulting or killing anyone.” Federal agents gave Burleson two alcoholic drinks prior to his undercover interview. He told the judge several times Wednesday that he has a drinking problem and that even small amounts of alcohol can affect his cognitive ability. Before imposing her sentence, Navarro gave lengthy — and at times emotional — remarks about the effects of the armed protesters actions on the law enforcement officers stationed in the wash. Though no shots were fired, she said, “in some ways a physical injury is better than a mental injury because it scabs, it heals.” During the trial, prosecutors called numerous law enforcement witnesses to testify about their fear on the day of the April 12, 2014, standoff, as well as the lasting psychological effects of the event. The night before the standoff, Navarro said, one law enforcement agent had to dig a foxhole and sleep in the ground because federal intelligence suggested the hotel where they were staying may be targeted by protesters. Comparing Burleson and other protesters to “playground bullies,” Navarro said, “You don’t just go to the tax office and threaten them to not collect taxes.” The sentence she imposed of 68 years and three months was markedly lower than the 87 years prosecutors had requested...more

No comments: