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Bundy family members finally charged for 2014 armed standoff

An April 2014 scene at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada. Photo from The Anti-Media / Facebook

Three members of the Bundy family and two of their supporters were indicted in federal court in connection with an April 2014 armed standoff against the federal government.

Cliven D. Bundy, 69; Ryan C. Bundy, 43; Ammon E. Bundy; Ryan W. Payne 32; and Peter T. Santilli, Jr., 50, face numerous charges for threatening federal law enforcement officers, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Nevada said. The incident arose after the Bureau of Land Management attempted to remove cattle owned by Cliven Bundy, an anti-government figure who has refused to abide by federal grazing laws and federal court orders for decades.

“The rule of law has been reaffirmed with these charges,” U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden said in a press release. “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.”

The government's treatment of the Bundys at the time of the standoff differed from the way it handled grazing issues involving members of the Western Shoshone Nation. The BLM has repeatedly seized and auction livestock from tribal members who believe they have an aboriginal right to use lands promised to the their ancestors under the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley.

"The deceptive nature of the United States government’s treatment of Indian nations generally comes into sharp focus when one examines the abusive and dominating manner in which the U.S. has treated the Western Shoshone Nation," Steven Newcomb of the Indigenous Law Institute wrote in Indian Country Today in April 2014.

Prodded by their father's distorted claims about land promised to the Burns Paiute Tribe, the Bundy sons went on to lead the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Federal authorities said the occupiers dug a road, two trenches -- including one that was filled with human feces -- and a camping area next to or sensitive cultural sites at the refuge.

Cliven, Ammon and Ryan Bundy are currently being detained in Oregon.

Get the Story:
Cliven Bundy, 4 others face federal indictment in Nevada (The Oregonian 2/17)
Bundy Family, Supporters Face 16 Federal Felonies For 2014 Standoff (Oregon Public Broadcasting 2/17)
Cliven Bundy, 4 Others, Face Federal Indictment in Nevada (AP 2/17)
Oregon refuge occupiers left behind guns, explosives and feces, investigators say (The Washington Post 2/17)
Cliven Bundy and sons indicted on federal conspiracy charges: ‘A man who will do whatever it takes’ (The Washington Post 2/18)

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