Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who last year engaged in a standoff with federal agents over his use of public lands for grazing in the southwest, was arrested by FBI agents on Wednesday night just after landing in Oregon where a tense standoff that has been ongoing since the beginning of the year appears to be reaching its final stages.
As The Oregonian newspaper reports:Bundy’s two sons, Ammon and Ryan, were arrested along with several other men on conspiracy and other federal charges more than two weeks ago after leading an armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon near the small town of Burns. The elder Bundy was allegedly on his way to Burns, but was intercepted at the airport in Portland upon his arrival.
[Bundy] faces a conspiracy charge to interfere with a federal officer — the same charge lodged against two of his sons, Ammon and Ryan, for their role in the Jan. 2 takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns. He also faces weapons charges.
The Bundy Ranch Facebook page reported Cliven Bundy was surrounded by SWAT officers and detained after his arrival from Nevada.
He was arrested at 10:10 p.m., authorities said.
The Bundy patriarch had traveled to Portland with plans to go on to Burns, where four occupiers had been the remaining holdouts of the refuge occupation.
FBI agents have now more closely surrounded those who remain holed up inside the refuge compound. On Wednesday and into Thursday, the armed individuals were live-streaming audio about their engagement with law enforcement.
During the live-streamed telephone call withright-wing Nevada politician Michele Fiore and Franklin Graham, a member of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, the remaining occupiers—identified as Sean and Sandy Anderson, David Fry and Jeffrey Banta—said they would surrender Thursday morning, but only if escorted by Fiore and Graham.
“I need you to stay alive,” Fiore tells the group during the streamed telephone call. “The only way we’re going to be able to write your story…is if you’re alive.”
Sandy Anderson, speaking on the call, reported that federal agents were trying to convince the protesters to drop their weapons and come out of the building, but she said, “We’re not leaving without our weapons.”
Subsequently, Sean Anderson, announced, “We are not surrendering, we’re turning ourselves in. It goes against everything we believe in, but we’re going to do it.”
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