U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown sentenced Malheur refuge occupation defendant Travis Cox on Monday to two months of home detention and two years of probation.
Cox pleaded guilty to conspiracy, a felony.
Federal prosecutors said Cox, of Redmond, Oregon, was one of the least culpable members of last year’s 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel described Cox as a “foot solider,” but said that Cox was at the refuge early in the occupation, from Jan. 9 - Jan. 26. Gabriel said Cox took a gun to the refuge and performed guard duty. He also said Cox wrote a Facebook message on Jan. 26, 2016 — the day occupation leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy were arrested — that stated, “let it be known free men stood against tyrants …”
Cox’s mother and fiancé both spoke during the sentencing hearing and stressed to Brown that his actions were not characteristic of him.
Cox was critical of his own actions.
“It was a hasty decision by an arrogant, ignorant young man who didn’t respect the laws that keep us all safe,” Cox said during his sentencing.
Brown said Cox has shown respect for the law and that he now understands there are other ways to resolve disputes.
“You’re the first person who’s said this was a mistake,” Brown said, referring to other defendants involved in the occupation.
Cox spent weeks in pretrial detention. Brown gave him credit for having served that time when she handed down her sentence.
“The 51 days in jail, what was that like?” Brown asked Cox.
“Very difficult,” Cox replied.
“If this goes well, you will never see me again in a professional capacity,” Brown said.
In Oct. 2016, Ryan and Ammon Bundy and five others were acquitted for their roles in the occupation. During the second trial in March, a jury found Jason Patrick and Darryl Thorn guilty of conspiracy.
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