PORTLAND, Ore. — Protest-leader Ammon Bundy and 15 others have been indicted by a grand jury on a count of Conspiracy to Impede Officers of the United States, and a court document alleges threats were made several months ahead of the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
According to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, the armed standoff began January 2, but on or about October 5 of 2015, two of the conspirators traveled to Oregon to, “warn the Harney County sheriff of ‘extreme civil unrest’ if certain demands were not met.”
The document did not elaborate on what those demands were.
The indictment alleges the group began recruiting others to their cause in November, and an armed occupation began in January, with the document alleging the armed group used force to prevent federal officials from doing their duties.
The following individuals are named in the indictment: Ammon Bundy, Jon Ritzheimer, Joseph O’Shaughnessy, Ryan Payne, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox, Peter Santilli, Jason Patrick, Duane Leo Ehmer, Dylan Anderson, Sean Anderson, David Lee Fry, Jeff Wayne Banta, Sandra Lynn Pfeifer Anderson and Kenneth Medenbach.
Shawna Cox of southern Utah was active in the protest, at one point reading off a list of grievances on behalf of “Citizens for Constitutional Freedom.”
The document alleges the individuals knowingly and willfully conspired to use threats and intimidation to prevent Fish and Wildlife Service agents from doing their duty at the wildlife refuge.
Ammon Bundy was arrested along with several others after federal authorities stopped his vehicle. Another vehicle drove on. After crashing in the snow to avoid a police barricade, LaVoy Finicum was shot after leaving his vehicle as agents from the FBI and Oregon State Police responded.
The FBI stated Finicum was armed and appeared to be reaching into a pocket where he had a pistol, and they released aerial footage of the fatal encounter in response to claims Finicum was murdered.
After his arrest and the death of Fincium, Ammon Bundy called for an end to the occupation at the wildlife refuge.