Justice was delayed in the case of insurrectionist Cliven Bundy, 69, but he did not escape in the end. After being arrested upon his arrival in Portland Oregon on February 10, he was denied bail Tuesday as a flight risk, and indicted Wednesday – along with his son Ammon, who led the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, his son Ryan, and two other men, Ryan Payne, and Peter Santilli.
Together, the five men are facing 16 felony charges for the 2014 Oregon standoff, the event which emboldened the Bundy’s to seize the wildlife refuge. Bundy’s sons, Payne, and Santilli have already been indicted for their role in the seizure of and 41-day standoff at the wildlife refuge.
According to the indictment,
“The defendants recruited, organized, and led hundreds of other followers in using armed force against law enforcement officers in order to thwart the seizure and removal of Cliven Bundy’s cattle from federal public lands.”
Bundy had trespassed on the public lands for over 20 years, refusing to obtain the legally-required permits or pay the required fees to keep and graze his cattle on the land.”
The 51-page indictment lists the charges as follows:
- One count of conspiring to commit an offense against the United States;
- One count of conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer;
- Four counts of use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence;
- Two counts of assault on a federal officer;
- Two counts of threatening a federal law enforcement officer;
- Three counts of obstructing justice;
- Two counts of interference with interstate commerce by extortion; and
- One count of interstate travel in aid of extortion.
The penalties are stiff, ranging from five years for conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States to 20 years for an assault on a federal officer, with $250,000 in fines for each of the charges listed.
In the words of U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada Daniel G. Bogden,
“Persons who use force and violence against federal law enforcement officers who are enforcing court orders, and nearly causing catastrophic loss of life or injury to others, will be brought to justice.”
“The rule of law has been reaffirmed with these charges.”
Bundy is also facing five counts of criminal forfeiture, which could cost him to the tune of $3 million plus cattle at Bunkerville Allotment and Lake Mead National Recreational Area in Nevada. Worse yet, from a “patriot’s” standpoint is the loss of the firearms used on April 12, 2014 in the standoff with federal authorities, “including but not limited to the handgun possessed by Ryan C. Bundy.”
So not only did Bundy not get away with essentially appropriating public lands for his own use and without payment, but he now stands to lose his own land and the cattle he refused to move that resulted in the armed standoff with Bureau of Land Management agents.
All five men are behing held at the Multnomah County Detention Center in Portland. Those involved in the wildlife refuge standoff will face trial in Oregon before being returned to Nevada for prosecution for their 2014 charges, while Cliven Bundy will first face federal prosecution for the 2014 charges in Nevada.
This is a sordid and sorry end to the inglorious Bundy rebellion. These men thought they were the patriots of 1776. They were instead proved by their own words and deeds to be champions of white privilege and common thieves, a new iteration of the outlaws who once plagued the America’s western frontier.
Justice was delayed due to the nature of the well-defended Bundy ranch, including a .50 caliber machine gun, but it caught up with those earlier outlaws, who were also well-armed, and now it has caught up with Cliven Bundy.