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Cliven Bundy Is Charged With Conspiracy And Extortion

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy was arrested late Wednesday in Portland, Ore.
John Locher
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy was arrested late Wednesday in Portland, Ore.

The father of two men who were among the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and are now in jail, was himself arrested in Portland, Ore., Wednesday night.

Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher prominent in protests to end federal control of western lands, is being held in the Multnomah County Detention Center. His sons Ammon and Ryan were arrested Jan. 27 and are there as well.

Update at 1:50 p.m. ET: Bundy Is Charged With Conspiracy

According to the charging document against Bundy, the rancher is charged with conspiracy, assault on a federal law enforcement officer, "the use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence," obstruction or justice, extortion, and aiding and abetting.

The charges date back to the 2014 standoff near Bundy's Nevada ranch; the timeframe listed in the federal complaint continues until today. He is due to appear in federal court in Portland at 1:30 p.m. (local time).

Shortly after the charges against Bundy were announced, David Fry, the last of the four holdouts occupying the refuge, reportedly surrendered.

Our original post continues:

Bundy had said earlier this week that he intended to travel to Oregon to support the four men still occupying a government building on the refuge.

On Wednesday at the refuge in southern Oregon, the FBI moved to further restrict the movement of the four militants and is actively negotiating with them, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.

The FBI said on Twitter that around 4:30 p.m. PT, one of the occupiers rode an ATV past established barriers on the refuge grounds, and sped away when authorities approached. The FBI says after the incident agents placed barricades around the occupiers' location.

The 40-day occupation near Burns, Ore., began as a protest of the imprisonment of two local ranchers, who were convicted of arson on land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management.

Authorities have taken a cautious approach in dealing with the occupiers, resulting in a lengthy standoff that led to contentious community meetings in the area, with many locals urging the group to leave.

Five of the militants, including leader Ammon Bundy, were traveling to such a meeting on Jan. 26 when authorities moved to arrest them. Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, who had acted as one of the group's spokesmen, was shot and killed in the incident.

Three other militants were also arrested that day, and several others occupying the ranch chose to leave, with four holdouts remaining until Thursday.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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