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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 27, 2016

Jury Delivers Verdicts in Oregon Standoff Trial

PORTLAND, Ore. – A federal jury today delivered its verdicts against seven defendants charged with conspiracy, possession of firearms on federal property, and theft during the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Jurors found Ammon Bundy, Shawna Cox, David Lee Fry, Jeff Wayne Banta, Kenneth Medenbach, and Neil Wampler not guilty on all counts. Jurors found Ryan Bundy not guilty on charges of conspiracy and possession of firearms, but were unable to reach a verdict on the charge of theft.

Co-defendants Jason Blomgren, Brian Cavalier, Blaine Cooper, Eric Flores, Wesley Kjar, Corey Lequieu, Joseph O’Shaughnessy, Ryan Payne, Jon Ritzheimer, Geoffrey Stanek, and Travis Cox previously pled guilty. Co-defendants Dylan Anderson, Sandra Anderson, Sean Anderson, Duane Ehmer, Jason Patrick, Darryl Thorn, and Jake Ryan will stand trial beginning February 14, 2017. Charges against co-defendant Peter Santilli were previously dismissed.

“While we had hoped for a different outcome, we respect the verdict of the jury and thank them for their dedicated service during this long and difficult trial,” said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. “We strongly believe that this case needed to be brought before a Court, publicly tried, and decided by a jury. Despite the verdict reached, I want to personally thank all of the law enforcement personnel who worked tirelessly to bring about a peaceful resolution to the Malheur occupation. I also want to thank the residents of Burns, Hines, and Harney County and members of the Burns Paiute Tribe for their patience and resolve throughout this process.”

“For many weeks, hundreds of law enforcement officers – federal, state, and local – worked around-the-clock to resolve the armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge peacefully. We believe now – as we did then – that protecting and defending this nation through rigorous obedience to the U.S. Constitution is our most important responsibility,” said Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Although we are extremely disappointed in the verdict, we respect the court and the role of the jury in the American judicial system.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Geoffrey Barrow, Ethan Knight, and Craig Gabriel, Assistant United States Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

Updated October 31, 2016