malheur

Harney County, Ore., Sherrif's Office

Federal prosecutors described Wesley Kjar as one of the least culpable defendants for his role in the 41-day, armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

And during his Nov. 22 in federal court in downtown Portland, he was among the most apologetic.

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The FBI agent indicted for allegedly lying about a pivotal moment during the 2016 Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation has hired a high-profile Washington D.C.-based attorney to defend him.

An FBI agent assigned to the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon last year is facing a five-count indictment for allegedly lying about his role in the shooting death of one of the occupiers.

FBI Agent Indicted In Finicum Shooting Identified

Jun 28, 2017
Amelia Templeton / Oregon Public Broadcasting

An FBI agent who allegedly lied to investigators about a fatal shooting during the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation has been identified.

Associated Press / AP Images

It’s been one year since a group of armed occupiers took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County.  Last January, Ammon Bundy climbed onto a snowbank outside the Safeway grocery store in Burns and declared his intention to take over a bird sanctuary in Oregon’s remote high desert.

A large flock of sandhill cranes squawks overhead as Brenden Quinlan watches what's left of an early season snow storm roll off the massive Steens Mountain; the snow turning to sleet and then rain as it soaks the wetlands of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in remote eastern Oregon.

"It's something I find that's medicinal [to] come and hang out here," Quinlan says. "It's quiet."

Malheur refuge occupier Jon Ritzheimer pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to prevent federal employees through force and intimidation from doing their jobs.

“I forcibly occupied the refuge,” Ritzheimer, 32, told U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown. “I can see how my conduct and my actions there would be intimidating."

Prosecutors recommend Ritzheimer serve two-and-a-half years in prison for his role.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of six years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Ritzheimer, from Peoria, Arizona, will also have to pay restitution.

Oregon Prosecutors Outline Refuge Case In Memo

Aug 1, 2016
ASSOCIATED PRESS / AP

Federal prosecutors in Oregon filed a trial brief Friday outlining their case against the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The story prosecutors tell is one of a premeditated takeover that had all the ingredients to escalate into a violent firefight.

Malheur Refuge Occupier Says He Has Gender Dysphoria

Jul 15, 2016
ASSOCIATED PRESS / AP Images

The last holdout at the Malheur National Wildlife Occupation says he has gender dysphoria. Occupier David Fry had previously said he hoped to be reincarnated as a woman.

At a detention hearing this week, a judge asked Fry to explain his comment. The judge also asked Fry about a past escape attempt from a mental health care facility.

In an audio statement made from the Multnomah County Jail after the hearing, Fry explained.

The evangelist who was a part of the negotiations that ended the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in February returned to Oregon Tuesday. Franklin Graham, the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, spoke to a crowd of thousands at a rally in front of the state capitol.

Bundy Attorney Cleared Of Ethics Complaints

May 4, 2016
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The Oregon State Bar has thrown out two ethics complaints against Mike Arnold — the attorney representing Malheur refuge occupier Ammon Bundy.

Rick Bowmer / / AP Images

The federal indictment released Thursday charges with conspiracy sixteen people involved with the occupation of the Malheur refuge. But it doesn’t include dozens of people who were also part of the occupation.

Rick Bowmer / / AP Images

The indictment charging Ammon Bundy and 15 other militants who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was released this morning.

Bundy, Others Indicted In Federal Court

Feb 3, 2016
Amanda Peacher

Federal prosecutors handed down a sealed indictment Wednesday against several militant leaders who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last month.

Ammon Bundy, leader of the group of militants that has occupied a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon for weeks, has been arrested along with seven other members of the group, including his brother, Ryan, according to federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown wants state lawmakers to approve roughly $500,000 in emergency funding to cover costs associated with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The Burns Paiute Tribe in eastern Oregon says it fears artifacts kept at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge could be sold to collectors to help finance the militants' cause. The refuge houses more than 4,000 tribal artifacts.

Oregon Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio called on the Justice Department Wednesday to take action against the armed militants occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.

In southeast Oregon Monday, about a half-dozen armed men cut fences between government land and a private ranch near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter spoke forcefully about observing the “rule of law” in his first comments on the armed protesters in adjacent eastern Oregon.

In east Oregon, Harney County has seen more tourists -- a lot of them Baby-Boomer birders. Now bird-watchers and business leaders alike are fretting over the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by an armed group.

Native American tribes, cattle barons, trappers, farmers and wildlife advocates have all fought over what’s now known as Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon for centuries.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said she wants a "swift resolution" to the situation in Harney County. That's where an armed group has taken over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

A member of the Washington National Guard has emerged as a vocal supporter of the armed occupiers in eastern Oregon.

Staff Sgt. Maureen Peltier has served in the Guard since 2000. She even deployed to Iraq. But over the years she says she’s come to believe that corruption and a toxic environment exists in many parts of the U.S. government. Thus her interest in what she calls the patriot movement.

“I’ve been watching the patriot movement quietly for years while serving,” Peltier said.

Many eastern Oregon school children are getting a few more days of holiday this week near Burns. Parents and school officials are worried about security for children since an armed group began occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Ammon Bundy emerged from a small brick building at the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday.

He wouldn’t say how many protesters were present at the site of the occupied federal complex, but fewer than 20 people were visible Sunday afternoon.

The leader of the occupation spoke in cool, calm tones as he explained why he and other self-described militiamen broke into and took over the complex Saturday.

A self-styled militia in eastern Oregon grabbed national headlines Saturday when members broke into the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. There the armed group remains Sunday, occupying the federal building in protest of what it sees as government overreach on rangelands throughout the western United States.