The Latest: 3 more arrested at refuge
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The Latest: 3 more arrested at refuge
Jan. 28, 2016
BURNS, Ore. (AP) — The latest on an armed group that took over buildings at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon (all times local):
The FBI and Oregon State Police say they've arrested three more people connected to the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in a remote Oregon area.
A statement said they arrested 45-year-old Duane Leo Ehmer of Irrigon, Oregon, and 34-year-old Dylan Wade Anderson of Provo, Utah, around 3:30 p.m. A few hours later, 43-year-old Jason S. Patrick of Bonaire, Georgia, was arrested.
The FBI says the men turned themselves in to agents at a checkpoint on a road near the refuge.
As with the eight others arrested a day earlier, officials say these men will face one federal felony count of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats.
FBI officials say they are working around the clock to empty the refuge of armed occupiers in the safest way possible.
The attorney for the leader of an armed group occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge says the man wants those remaining at the refuge to "please stand down" and go home.
Ammon Bundy and seven others were arrested Tuesday. Bundy made an initial appearance in federal court in Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday.
Mike Arnold, Bundy's attorney, read a statement afterward in which Bundy urged those still at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to leave.
In the statement, Bundy asked the federal government to allow the people remaining at the refuge to depart without being prosecuted. Addressing those still holding out, Bundy's statement said: "Please stand down. Go home and hug your families. This fight is now in the courts. Please go home."
Federal agents have surrounded the refuge where the remnants of Bundy's group were still refusing to give up on the occupation that began Jan. 2 to protest federal land policies.
An Oregon man who was on his way to California tells a Portland television station that he witnessed gunfire between authorities and militants who had been occupying a national wildlife refuge.
Raymond Doherty, of Pilot Rock, told KOIN-TV (http://is.gd/AgNSdm) that when he arrived at the scene on Highway 395 between Burns and John Day on Tuesday afternoon "there was a shootout going on." He says he heard about a half-dozen shots but didn't see anyone get hit, and that the shooting happened quickly — over maybe 12 or 15 seconds.
He said he was about 100 feet back and couldn't see who specifically was shooting. But, he added, "I saw them shooting at each other."
One man was killed, and several people were arrested, including militant leader Ammon Bundy.
A judge has ordered Ammon Bundy and six others arrested for occupying a national wildlife refuge to remain in jail until at least Friday.
At Wednesday's initial court appearance in Portland, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman said they are a danger to the community and, with no ties to Oregon, flight risks.
Beckerman set a detention hearing for Friday, giving the defendants a chance to argue for their release pending trial.
Public defender Lisa Hay pressed for the immediate release of her client, Ryan Payne. Hay says Payne has no criminal record, and prosecutors have not alleged he did anything violent.
Prosecutor Geoff Barrow said the risk is that he returns to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to "bunker with his co-conspirators."
The defendants said little Wednesday. The most expressive was Ryan Bundy, who looked at the press and asked "How are you guys?" when he entered the courtroom.
Security was tighter than usual at the federal courthouse in Portland. Armed guards were stationed near the entrance, and cellphones were banned from the packed courtroom.
A federal criminal complaint against eight people arrested for occupying a national wildlife refuge says that the armed group had explosives and night-vision goggles and was prepared to fight.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman in Portland unsealed the complaint Wednesday, which lists reasons for the arrests Tuesday night during a traffic stop that left one man dead.
The document says a source told authorities about the equipment on Jan. 2, when the group took over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. It's not clear if officials found explosives or if that's the reason they moved to make the arrests.
The complaint says refuge employees were unable to report to work because of threats of violence from the group.
It includes photos of social media posts by the defendants during the occupation.
A local sheriff got emotional as he urged the armed activists still occupying a national wildlife preserve in Oregon to move on, saying the standoff "has been tearing our community apart."
Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, who polices the region where the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is located, said at a news conference Wednesday that "there doesn't have to be bloodshed in our community."
A traffic stop outside the refuge Tuesday night ended with eight arrests and the death of one man.
He says law enforcement worked hard to create a plan to peacefully end the occupation of more than three weeks. The group is protesting federal land policy.
Ward says the death didn't have to happen. He called on people to work through appropriate channels to air their grievances, saying, "We don't arm up and rebel."
Authorities say the armed group occupying the national wildlife preserve in Oregon was given "ample opportunity" to leave peacefully.
Greg Bretzing, the FBI's Portland special agent in charge, said at a news conference Wednesday that authorities took a deliberate and measured response to those who took over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2. He says they're working to safely remove those who are still occupying the site.
Bretzing says authorities tried to conduct a traffic stop safely and away from local residents Tuesday night, which ended with eight arrests and the death of one man.
He wouldn't release specifics about the death, saying only that the man died as authorities tried to take him into custody.
Bretzing says the activists "have chosen to threaten and intimidate the America they profess to love."
Some witnesses say a man killed by police had charged at authorities during the arrests of armed activists occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge and others say he complied with orders.
Authorities say a man died when officers opened fire during a traffic stop Tuesday. The daughter of Robert "LaVoy" Finicum tells the Oregonian it was the Arizona rancher.
Police have not detailed what led to the shooting or if Finicum or any of the other ranchers exchanged gunfire with officers.
Mark McConnell says he drove one of the vehicles stopped by authorities and that Finicum was in another and "charged" at officers.
McConnell said in a video posted to Facebook that the rancher took off and authorities pursued.
He says he didn't see the shooting, but others in the group said he charged after law enforcement.
A message was left Wednesday at a phone number believed to belong to McConnell.
Briana Bundy, group leader Ammon Bundy's sister-in-law, said Finicum and others "did everything they asked, and they murdered him."
The FBI has established checkpoints around a national wildlife preserve in Oregon where some armed activists still are believed to be holed up, saying the decision came out of "an abundance of caution."
Authorities arrested the leaders of the small group that has been occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for more than three weeks during a traffic stop where gunfire erupted and one man was killed late Tuesday.
Jason Patrick, a new leader of the occupation, told Oregon Public Broadcasting (http://bit.ly/1nxZD08 ) that five or six members of the group agreed to continue the standoff.
The FBI said early Wednesday that anyone leaving the refuge will have to show identification and submit to a vehicle search. Only ranchers who live in the area surrounding the preserve will be allowed to pass the checkpoints.