Sixteen antigovernment activists, including ringleader Ammon Bundy and four occupiers who still remain at an FBI-encircled wildlife refuge in Oregon, are named in a federal indictment unsealed Thursday in Portland.
A federal grand jury, which heard evidence against the defendants in a secret proceeding, returned the indictment on Wednesday – the 33rd day of the armed siege takeover intended to strip U.S. government-control over vast sections of public land in the West.
Ammon Bundy, arrested Jan. 26 in an FBI operation that led to the fatal shooting of occupier Robert LaVoy Finicum, has pleaded with the four remaining occupiers to surrender. Breaking with his son, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has instead urged them to stay put as part of his two-year battle with the federal government, backed by assorted militia and III% Patriot groups.
The defendants named in the District of Oregon indictment are charged with conspiracy to impede officers of the United States, even though a the occupiers appear to have committed variety of other crimes, many digitally recorded and posted on social media.
Those indicted are: Ammon Bundy, 40, of Emmett, Idaho; Jon Ritzheimer, 32, of Peoria, Ariz.; Joseph O'Shaughnessy, 43, of Cottonwood, Ariz.; Ryan Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Mont.; Ryan Bundy and Brian Cavalier,44, both of Bunkerville, Nev.; Shawna Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah; Peter Santilli 50, of Cincinnati; Jason Patrick, 43, of Bonaire, Ga; Duane Leo Ehmer, 45, of Irrigon;, Ore., Dylan Wade Anderson, 34, of Provo, Utah.
Kenneth Medenbach, 62, of Crescent, Ore., who was arrested Jan. 15 after driving a government truck from the refuge to Burns, also is named as a defendant.
The four who remain at the refuge, where phone and Internet service reported have been shut off, are: Sean Anderson ,47, and his wife, Sandra Lynn Pfeifer Anderson, 48, both of Riggins, Idaho; David Lee Fry, 27, of Blanchester, Ohio; and Jeff Wayne Banta, 46, of Elko, Nev.