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Crime, Law & Justice

Oregon Refuge Occupiers Appear In Federal Court - Judge Deems Them Flight Risk

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OPB/Multnomah County
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New information came out in federal court in Portland today about the militants arrested Tuesday night and charged with occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The Federal Government outlined its case today against the group led by Ammon Bundy.

The criminal complaint lists video and written evidence that shows Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Ryan Payne, Pete Santilli, Shawna Cox, Jon Ritzheimer and Joseph O’Shaughnessy all took part in an armed occupation at the refuge.

The judge, U.S. Magistrate Stacie Beckerman, ordered the 7 arrested to be held in jail until at least Friday. The judge said they are a danger to the community at large and because they aren't from Oregon or have ties here, they are a flight risk. A detention hearing was set for Friday. The 8th person arrested, Jon Ritzheimer, appeared in court in Phoenix, Arizona. The FBI took him into custody Tuesday night after he surrendered to police, according to the Associated Press.

In the criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday, the federal government alleges the armed occupiers at the refuge had weapons, night-vision goggles and explosives. A source informed the Harney County Sheriff's Office that the armed occupiers at the refuge said if they didn't get the fight they wanted out there they would bring the fight to town.

OPB's Amelia Tempelton was at the federal courthouse today, where all the defendants except Ritzheimer appeared. She said new details emerged during the hearing.

Tempelton: “We learned for example that Joseph O’Shaughnessy lives with his parents and that he is not working currently but a former EMT and a former fire fighter. We heard about Ryan Payne’s two young children and that he has an ex wife in Montana”

Federal prosecutors have charged all of the defendants with felonies related to preventing federal workers from doing their jobs.

Prosecutors also mention LaVoy Finicum in the criminal complaint. He’s the Arizona rancher killed Tuesday night during the traffic stop when the Bundys and others were arrested.
 

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