Ammon Bundy and the other occupiers arrested Tuesday after a three-week armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon had their first appearance in U.S. District Court in Portland Wednesday afternoon.
The 32-page criminal complaint [pdf] lists defendants Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Jon Ritzheimer, Joseph O'Shaughnessy, Ryan Payne, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox, and Peter Santilli. Each face one charge of "conspiracy to Impede Officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats," which is a felony with a maximum penalty of six years in prison, according to defense attorney Lissa Casey.
Ammon Bundy, 40; Ryan Bundy, 43; Payne, 32; Cavalier; and Cox, 59; were taken into custody during a traffic stop. Ryan Bundy suffered injuries from a minor gunshot wound during the arrest. He was treated and released into custody.
State troopers arrested O'Shaughnessy, 43, and Santilli, 50, in Burns. Santilli is an independent journalist who broadcasted part of Tuesday's incident on his YouTube channel.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman determined that all defendants are both flight risks and pose a threat to the public. Beckerman ruled all defendants remain in custody and set their detention hearings for 1:30 pm on Friday, January 29. A detention hearing is a hearing at which the court determines whether to detain the defendant without bail.
Following todays court appearance, defense attorney Mike Arnold read a prepared statement from Ammon Bundy, asking those still holed up at the refuge to "please stand down" and go home to their families. The statement asked authorities to allow remaining occupiers to leave the refuge without incident or threat of prosecution. Arnold also said Bundy supporters would have the opportunity to contribute to the defendants' defense fund at ArnoldLawFirm.com.
Today's court appearances are a result of arrests made mid-afternoon on Tuesday, January 26. Around 4:30 pm, reports began coming in that FBI agents and Oregon State Police troopers had arrested Bundy and several others following a traffic stop. It was later confirmed that one of the occupiers, Robert 'LaVoy' Finicum, had been shot and killed during the arrest.
The standoff began January 2, when Bundy & Co. made an armed seizure of unoccupied buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns. The occupants demanded the federal government "return" the refuge lands to the farmers and ranchers, saying they'd remain at the refuge until their demands were met. The group also called for the release of two Harney County ranchers—Dwight and Stephen Hammond. The Hammonds on January 4 began serving years-long federal prison sentences for setting fire to federal lands.