26 January 2016

Oregon Militia Members Arrested After Shootout That Killed One Of Them And Injured Another

Seven Six members of an armed group in Oregon that was occupying a federal nature preserve office since January 2, 2016, including their leader Ammon Bundy, have been arrested.  Another member of the armed group was killed with the joint efforts of the FBI and Oregon law enforcement.  Five of them were arrested and one was killed in a highway traffic stop.  Two more were arrested separately.
Shots were fired during the arrest of members of the armed group. In a joint statement Tuesday, the FBI and Oregon State Police said one individual "who was a subject of a federal probable cause arrest is deceased." No other information about the deceased was immediately released. Another person received non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital.Those arrested were: 
• Ammon Edward Bundy, age 40, of Emmett, Idaho
• Ryan C. Bundy, age 43, of Bunkerville, Nev.
• Brian Cavalier, age 44, of Bunkerville, Nev.
• Shawna Cox, age 59, Kanab, Utah
• Ryan Waylen Payne, age 32, of Anaconda, Mont.

Also arrested, in Burns, at about 5:50 p.m. PT, was: 
• Joseph Donald O'Shaughnessy, age 45, Cottonwood, Ariz. 
Officials said all six of those arrested face a federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 372.
This statute states:
If two or more persons in any State, Territory, Possession, or District conspire to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office, trust, or place of confidence under the United States, or from discharging any duties thereof, or to induce by like means any officer of the United States to leave the place, where his duties as an officer are required to be performed, or to injure him in his person or property on account of his lawful discharge of the duties of his office, or while engaged in the lawful discharge thereof, or to injure his property so as to molest, interrupt, hinder, or impede him in the discharge of his official duties, each of such persons shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six years, or both.
CNN reports that the man killed was LaVoy Finicum and that Ryan Bundy was the individual who sustained injuries which were minor, and notes that another member was arrested. According to the CNN report with more details of the incident:
Ammon Bundy, leader of the armed protesters who took over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, was arrested and one of his followers killed in a highway traffic stop Tuesday. A law enforcement official told CNN that authorities pulled over two vehicles. 
Everyone obeyed orders to surrender except two people: LaVoy Finicum and Bundy's brother, Ryan Bundy, the official said. Shots were fired, but it's not known who fired first, the official said. 
Ryan Bundy was injured, but Finicum died, the official added. Finicum was among the most outspoken of the occupiers who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns on January 2 to protest federal land policies. 
Earlier this month, he said he'd rather be killed than arrested. "Absolutely ... I have no intention of spending any of my days in a concrete box," he told NBC News. . . .
All together, police arrested seven people: five in the traffic stop on Highway 395 with Ammon Bundy; and two others in Burns. All seven arrested face a federal felony charge relating to their occupation of the refuge: conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats, authorities said. . . . Those arrested are: Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox and Ryan Waylen Payne. The other two are: Joseph Donald O'Shaughnessy and Peter Santilli.
Finicum got what he asked for and deserved. He also deserves a Darwin Award.

The charges for those arrested sound entirely too lenient to me, but it appears that the standoff is over and that at least the leaders are being charged with serious felonies.  Also, in general, due to the way that federal criminal sentences are calculated, an offender will generally end up serving all or a much larger share of a federal sentence than, for example, a criminal sentence in the Colorado state courts.

Felony convictions of any kind, of course, also deny those arrested the right to be in possession of firearms or ammunition following their conviction, and subject them to stiff mandatory minimum sentences either for firearms possession or for future crimes.

The group's manifesto, claiming that they own federal property and that they have a right to ignore federal law through force of arms and to establish their own court is delusional.  Honestly, it is embarrassing to see grown men act so idiotically.  Their families and their communities should be ashamed to have crazy people like them trying to speak for their interests.

The story is developing and additional arrest, charges and developments are likely to follow.

UPDATE January 27, 2016:

Militant Jon Ritzheimer, who previously made headlines for leading an anti-Islam protest in Arizona, turned himself in to police in Peoria, Arizona and will face the same charges as the other individuals who have been charged. Thus, nine leading members of the armed militia have been killed or arrested. Other militants continue to occupy the site.

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