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Bundy Trial Starts for Six Involved in Armed Standoff

Image: Bundy Trial Starts for Six Involved in Armed Standoff

Ammon Bundy makes his way from the entrance of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Burns, Oregon, on Jan, 6, 2016. (Rob Kerr/AFP/Getty Images)

By Clyde Hughes   |   Monday, 06 Feb 2017 12:41 PM

Six Cliven Bundy associates will go on trial in federal court in Las Vegas Monday in connection with the 2014 armed standoff in Burkerville, Nevada, between them and agents from the Bureau of Land Management.

Prosecutors accuse the six as being the "gunmen" in the armed conflict and face charges including extortion, conspiracy to commit an assault against the United States, threats, and other charges, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The trial is the first of three separate cases involving the April, 2014, standoff with federal agents that ended with BLM officials accepting a negotiated stand down by then-Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, according to The Associated Press.

While Bundy and four of his adult sons are among the 17 defendants that will be tried over the three trials, they are not involved in this opening trial, the AP reported.

"They're not the Bundys," Todd Leventhal, attorney for defendant Orville Scott Drexler, one of the six being tried Monday, told The Associated Press. "But realistically, this is a Bundy case. The outcome of this trial affects the other two."

Bureau of Land Management agents, acting on a court order, attempted to seize Bundy's cattle following a decades-long dispute over unpaid grazing fees that resulted in an armed standoff with Bundy's family and supporters, the Review-Journal reported.

Bundy and his supporters said the federal government did not have jurisdiction on what they claimed as their land.

Two of Bundy's sons, Ammon and Ryan, have already beaten prosecutors in federal court when they were found not guilty last October by a jury in Portland, Oregon, in connection with the weeks-long armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January 2016, The Oregonian noted.

The Bundys and five others found not guilty in that trial argued that their takeover of the wildlife refuge amounted to a long tradition of First Amendment protest and civil disobedience and not a crime.

Cliven Bundy was in Oregon supporting his sons after they were arrested Jan. 27, 2016, in the refuge standoff when he was taken into custody in February, 2016, in connection with the Nevada case, National Public Radio reported.

At the time, Cliven Bundy was charged with conspiracy, assault on a federal law enforcement officer, "the use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence," obstruction of justice, extortion, and aiding and abetting, NPR noted.

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Six Cliven Bundy associates will go on trial in federal court in Las Vegas Monday in connection with the 2014 armed standoff in Burkerville, Nevada, between them and agents from the Bureau of Land Management.
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