UPDATE: U.S. Marshals will soon relocate Bundy from Oregon to Nevada to face charges.
Nevada resident Cliven Bundy and four others were indicted by the federal grand jury on 16 felony charges related to the armed assault against federal law enforcement officers that occurred in the Bunkerville, NV area on April 12, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Laura Bucheit for the FBI in Nevada, and Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze made the announcement.
Cliven D. Bundy, Ryan C. Bundy, Ammon E. Bundy, Ryan W. Payne, and Peter T. Santilli, Jr. are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, one count of conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer, four counts of using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, two counts of assault on a federal officer, two counts of threatening a federal law enforcement officer, three counts of obstruction of the due administration of justice, two counts of interference with interstate commerce by extortion, and one count of interstate travel in aid of extortion.
The indictment also alleges five counts of criminal forfeiture which upon conviction would require forfeiture of property derived from the proceeds of the crimes totaling at least $3 million, as well as the firearms and ammunition possessed and used on April 12, 2014.
The defendants are currently in custody in Oregon. Their arraignments on these charges have not yet been set.
The indictment states that the charges result from a massive armed assault against federal law enforcement officers that occurred in and around Bunkerville, Nev., on April 12, 2014. The defendants are alleged to have planned, organized, and led the assault in order to extort the officers into abandoning approximately 400 head of cattle that were in their lawful care and custody.
In addition to conspiring among themselves to plan and execute these crimes, the defendants recruited, organized, and led hundreds of other followers in using armed force against law enforcement officers in order to thwart the seizure and removal of Cliven Bundy’s cattle from federal public lands.
Bundy had trespassed on the public lands for over 20 years, refusing to obtain the legally-required permits or pay the required fees to keep and graze his cattle on the land.
The indictment charges that Cliven Bundy was the leader, organizer, and chief beneficiary of the conspiracy, and possessed ultimate authority over the conspiratorial operations and received the economic benefits of the extortion.
The remaining defendants are charged as leaders and organizers who conspired with Bundy to achieve his criminal objectives.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt.
The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.