Overnight, new broke of federal agents taking down Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in Oregon, and an apparent agreement was reached with the four remaining occupiers of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.
Oregon Live is reporting that the 74-year-old patriarch of the Bundys traveled to Oregon to meet with the remaining occupiers, but was arrested by federal agents as he attempted to get off a plane at Portland International Airport. Bundy, who started an armed standoff at his ranch in 2014, and applauded the takeover of the refuge led by his son, Ammon, was taken in without incident and faces numerous charges.
After arriving from Nevada, Bundy was surrounded by SAWT and federal agents, who immediately took him into custody, a post to the Bundy Ranch Facebook page said. Apparently, he was en route to Burns so he could help reach a deal with the four men who remained in the refuge, but federal agents already had a plan in the works.
Apparently, late Tuesday night, federal agents infiltrated the building undetected, then surrounded it with armored vehicles to coerce the occupiers into surrendering. After five hours of negotiations, they came to an agreement, and the protesters said they would turn themselves in Wednesday morning.
For those unaware, here’s some background on the ongoing situation in Oregon:
Bundy has been under federal scrutiny since his ranch standoff with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. He has not paid grazing fees on federal land and he owes the agency $1 million in unpaid fees and penalties. He and militia supporters confronted federal agents who had impounded Bundy’s cattle that were found on federal property.
Some of the key participants in that standoff helped orchestrate the wildlife refuge occupation, including Ammon and Ryan Bundy. They are both in custody in Portland.
Another key participant in the Nevada showdown was Ryan Payne, a Montana militiaman who helped organize militia snipers to take aim at federal agents in Nevada. Payne is considered the tactician behind the Oregon takeover and also has been arrested and faces a federal conspiracy charge.
The Bundy brothers and Payne said they took over the federal bird sanctuary to protest the imprisonment of two Burns area ranchers and federal land ownership. They were arrested along with several others Jan. 26 as they traveled to a meeting in a neighboring county.
The move comes just weeks after rancher LaVoy Finicum was gunned down by federal agents after an ambush while he was traveling to a meeting. Then, agents attempted to apprehend Finicum and the occupants in his vehicle, but Finicum became spooked and drove off, only to find a roadblock around a blind turn. When he finally stopped his vehicle, he was fatally shot by authorities after seemingly placing his hands in the air to surrender.
On Wednesday, Bundy was arrested and charged with conspiracy to interfere with a federal officer, which is what his sons were charged with, and he was also hit with a weapons charge. He was booked into the Multnomah County Jail shortly before 11 p.m., where he remains without bond.