Buddy Brothers Acquitted in Armed Rebellion at Oregon Wildlife Refuge
Ammon and Ryan Bundy, along with five of their followers, were just acquitted of federal conspiracy and weapons charges, despite admitting to participating in an armed occupation of a federally owned Oregon wildlife sanctuary for six weeks last January and February.
The defendants were acquitted of conspiracy and firearm charges, but jurors were unable to come to a decision on Ryan Bundy’s property theft offense.
None of the defendants denied taking part in the insurrection, but the Bundy’s rebellion struck a chord among ultraconservative activists and militia groups who were eager to rally around their fight against federal government control of local land. A juror was actually dismissed a day before the acquittal over concerns that he or she was unfairly biased.
While Bundy’s armed rebellion led to a standoff and eventually violence with police, the defendant’s lawyersargued that prosecutors did not prove that they had conspired to prevent federal employees of the Fish and Wildlife Service or the Bureau of Land Management from doing their jobs.
These acquittals of armed white ranchers come on the same day as dozens of unarmed Native American protesters were arrested by police in full riot gear while peacefully protesting the construction of the DAPL pipeline in North Dakota.
A separate trial for Ammon, Ryan, Cliven, and a few other Bundy men is slated for next year, this time in Nevada.