New Hampshire Tea Party activist Jerry DeLemus was arrested Thursday by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Court records cited by The New Hampshire Union Leader note that DeLemus faces 9 federal charges including obstruction of justice, attempting to impede or injure a federal law enforcement officer, conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, threatening a federal law enforcement officer, and an assortment of firearms-related offences. The charges stem from his alleged participation in a 2014 armed protest in support of Cliven Bundy’s dispute over cattle grazing rights with the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada.
The indictment lists DeLemus as one of eight defendants who allegedly “planned, organized, led, and/or participated as gunmen in the assault, all in order to threaten, intimidate, and extort the officers into abandoning approximately 400 head of cattle that were in their lawful care and custody.”
The charges, which name DeLemus as a “mid-level leader and organizer of the conspiracy,” appear to stem from an April 12, 2014 incident in which, according to CNN, BLM agents released cattle that they had seized from Cliven Bundy in what the bureaucracy called an effort to “avoid violence and help restore order,” citing “escalating tensions.”
DeLemus is set to be arraigned today at the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire in Concord.
Earlier this year, DeLemus had also reportedly traveled to Oregon and participated in the Bundy-associated armed protest against the BLM at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Jerry DeLemus, who serves as co-chairman for the New Hampshire chapter of Veterans for Donald Trump, is the husband of N.H. State Rep. Susan DeLemus (R-Rochester).
According to The Portsmouth Patch, former N.H. GOP chair Jack Kimball, who claimed to have spoken to Rep. Susan DeLemus about the arrest, wrote on Facebook, “She said that the FBI just rolled up with lots of vehicles and Agents who were in tactical gear. They forced their way into Jerry Delemus and Sue’s condo with weapons drawn and arrested Jerry and took him away.”
Kimball characterized Jerry DeLemus as “a good and Patriotic Marine” who “is now being prosecuted for standing up for Liberty.” He called for “New Hampshire patriots” to “protest this tyranny in the most visible way possible.”
According to the progressive-leaning New Hampshire political blog Miscellany Blue, the FBI had reportedly previously arranged a February meeting to talk with Jerry DeLemus at a restaurant in public, but pulled out citing fears for agents’ safety.
Jerry DeLemus wrote a Facebook post after the cancelled February meeting but before Thursday’s arrest, which read, “I told the FBI agent if it was his intention to arrest me I would go peacefully and I was completely unarmed.”
“I was assured they weren’t looking to arrest me and I inquired if they were going to fly me to Oregon or Nevada and he said no. All of the intrigue coming from their side is unsettling. … I am not lawless and have acted righteously regarding Oregon and Nevada,” DeLemus’ Facebook post continued.
DeLemus’ arrest comes amid rumors that arrest warrants have been drawn up for a number of participants in the two Bundy-associated armed protests.