Last four occupiers at Oregon refuge surrender, taken into FBI custody

By Amy R. Connolly and Doug G. Ware  |  Updated Feb. 11, 2016 at 2:27 PM
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BURNS, Ore., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The last four remaining armed occupiers at an Oregon wildlife refuge surrendered Thursday -- one of them after first threatening to harm himself -- finally bringing to an end the standoff that lasted for more than 40 days.

David Fry, speaking during a YouTube live stream, said he was "feeling suicidal" moments after his counterparts surrendered to the FBI at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon. Fry said his biggest fear about surrendering was being raped in jail.

"I will no longer be a slave to this system," Fry, of Blanchester, Ohio, said. "I will no longer be a slave to this system, I am a free man and I will die a free man."

After about an hour, Fry was taken into custody.

Sean Anderson and his wife, Sandy, both from Riggins, Idaho, walked out of the complex first, ending the 41-day ordeal. Jeff Banta, of Elko, Nev., also surrendered.

Earlier in the day, the four said they would surrender to end the occupation hours after Cliven Bundy, the father of protest leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy, was arrested.

The group, now calling itself Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, said Bundy, 74, was arrested in the Portland International Airport by the FBI as he was headed for Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon. He is the father of protest organizers Ammon and Ryan, who are now each facing a felony charge of conspiracy to impede a federal officer. Thursday marks the 41st day of the occupation.

The elder Bundy is facing federal charges related to his standoff with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in 2014 and a weapons charge.

Bundy's arrest came after the FBI moved to surround the wildlife refuge on Wednesday afternoon, prompting the remaining protesters to have a conference call with Nevada lawmaker Michele Fiore. It was broadcast live on YouTube. During the four hour phone call, one of the occupiers said they planned to leave Thursday morning if Fiore was there as a witness to ensure it ended peacefully.

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