The Department of Justice announced on Thursday that 14 new defendants will face charges in connection to an April 2014 standoff between the Bureau of Land Management and armed protesters supporting rancher Cliven Bundy in a dispute over cattle grazing rights.
According to the DOJ news release, the new defendants facing charges are “Melvin D. Bundy, 41, of Round Mountain, Nev., David H. Bundy, 39, of Delta, Utah, Brian D. Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nev., Blaine Cooper, 36, of Humboldt, Ariz., Gerald A. DeLemus, 61, of Rochester, N.H., Eric J. Parker, 32, of Hailey, Idaho, O. Scott Drexler, 44, of Challis, Idaho, Richard R. Lovelien, 52, of Westville, Okla., Steven A. Stewart, 36, of Hailey, Idaho, Todd C. Engel, 48, of Boundary County, Idaho, Gregory P. Burleson, 52, of Phoenix, Ariz., Joseph D. O’Shaughnessy, 43, of Cottonwood, Ariz., and Micah L. McGuire, 31, and Jason D. Woods, 30, both of Chandler, Ariz.”
Truth in Media reported March 3 on defendant Jerry DeLemus’ arrest by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in New Hampshire. The DOJ’s statement notes that all 14 defendants are now in custody.
[RELATED: Exclusive Interview: Sheriff Mack on the Oregon Standoff and What the Media Isn’t Reporting]
The charges against the 14 new defendants include “one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer, and at least one count of using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal law enforcement officer, obstruction of the due administration of justice, interference with interstate commerce by extortion, and interstate travel in aid of extortion.” Additionally, the defendants face “five counts of criminal forfeiture which upon conviction would require forfeiture of property derived from the proceeds of the crimes totaling at least $3 million, as well as the firearms and ammunition possessed and used on April 12, 2014.”
The specific situation referred to in the indictments appears to be an April 12, 2014 incident in which CNN notes BLM agents seized and then released around 400 of Cliven Bundy’s cattle due to what the BLM called “escalating tensions” among the armed protesters.
[RELATED: Oregon Standoff: Cliven Bundy Arrested, Occupiers Say They Will Leave Refuge]
The maximum penalties for the charges facing the 14 defendants can be seen below.
Five other defendants, “Cliven D. Bundy, 69, of Bunkerville, Nev., Ryan C. Bundy, 43, of Mesquite, Nev., Ammon E. Bundy, 40, of Emmet, Idaho, Ryan W. Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Mont., and Peter T. Santilli, Jr., 50, of Cincinnati, Ohio,” had previously been charged in connection with the standoff.
“These indictments and subsequent arrests send an irrefutable message to the American people that our determination remains steadfast to protect them and pursue individuals who participate in violent acts of this nature,” said Special Agent in Charge Laura Bucheit according to the news release.
On Thursday, former N.H. GOP chair Jack Kimball, a supporter of defendant Jerry DeLemus, called him “a good and Patriotic Marine” who “is now being prosecuted for standing up for Liberty.”