Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, 4 others indicted by federal grand jury

By Shawn Price and Amy R. Connolly

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Rancher Cliven Bundy and four other men, including his two sons, who led the armed occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, were indicted in connection with a different 2014 armed standoff in Nevada.

Bundy, 69, his sons Ammon and Ryan and two other men, Ryan Payne and Peter Santilli, face 16 federal felony charges in a 2014 armed standoff with federal law enforcement. The federal indictment comes about a week after the collapse of the Malheur armed takeover.


"The rule of law has been reaffirmed with these charges," U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden, for the District of Nevada, said. "Persons who use force and violence against federal law enforcement officers who are enforcing court orders, and nearly causing catastrophic loss of life or injury to others, will be brought to justice."

Bundy and the others, with the support of hundreds of armed supporters, faced off with the federal government in and around Bunkerville, Nev., on April 12, 2014. The government had seized his cattle over unpaid grazing fees and trespassing on public land.


During the confrontation, several of Bundy's followers took up sniper positions against the agents to try and retake the cattle. Federal authorities eventually backed down.

Federal authorities said Bundy was the "leader, organizer and chief beneficiary of the conspiracy, and possessed ultimate authority over the conspiratorial operations and received the economic benefits of the extortion." Authorities said the other men were charged as leaders and organizers who conspired with Bundy.

Ammon Bundy's attorney, Mike Arnold, said, "the Nevada indictment is no surprise."

"It's important for the public to remember that there is a constitutional presumption of innocence in America," he said. "A government charge is proof of nothing."

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