Late yesterday afternoon, the FBI and Oregon State Police intercepted a small group of the radical right-wing terrorists, who had taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, as they were driving to John Day, OR to attend a community meeting. Gunshots were exchanged. Robert LaVoy Finnicum, 54. is dead. Ryan Bundy sustained a non life-threatening gunshot wound to his arm. Four others, including his brother Ammon Bundy, were arrested. The other three are Ryan Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Mont., Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada and Shawna J. Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah.
The Washington Post is reporting,
A sixth person involved in the occupation, Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy of Cottonwood, Ariz., was arrested about an hour and a half after the initial confrontation. Shortly after that, a seventh person — Peter Santilli of Cincinnati, who is known for live streaming refuge events — was arrested in Burns, the seat of Harney County where the refuge is located.
Meanwhile, Jon Eric Ritzheimer, 32, a key leader of the armed occupation, surrendered to police in Arizona on a conspiracy charge Tuesday, the FBI said.
Ritzheimer, who serves as the inspiration for the title, is the man in the video asking people to stop sending sex toys to the wannabe revolutionaries. He also is the guy who organized the armed anti-Muslim rallies in Phoenix, AZ.
Eight people are in federal custody charged with conspiracy to impede federal officers through the use of force, intimidation or threats.
A group of the self-described patriots remains entrenched at the wildlife refuge. The FBI and Oregon State Police are reportedly surrounding the place, possibly with intent to arrest more people. If they are smart, they will surrender. The rest should leave or face arrest and possibly worse.
Later today, possibly this morning, the people in federal custody in Oregon will appear in court for an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge who will review the complaint and attached affidavit regarding the factual basis for probable cause, advise them of their rights, including the right to remain silent and be represented by counsel, and appoint counsel at public expense for those who cannot afford counsel. The judge will find probable cause and all of them will be detained without bail for a detention/preliminary hearing at which time the government will request that they be denied bail pending the outcome of the case. I am expecting that all of them will be detained without bail because they are charged with a crime of violence and they were armed when arrested.
You can reasonably expect that within a month or so a federal grand jury will return an indictment that will include additional charges. The conspiracy charge is just a way to hold them pending the comprehensive indictment coming down the road.
Basically, these defendants buried themselves in a mountain of social-media evidence.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, so to speak, U.S. Attorney Bill Williams, Greg Bretzing (the FBI special agent in charge of the case) and Harney County Sheriff David Ward will be holding a news conference this morning.