Misdemeanor Verdicts Issued in Oregon Standoff Bench Trial
PORTLAND, Ore. – A federal judge today delivered verdicts against four defendants charged with misdemeanor trespassing; tampering with government vehicles and equipment; and destruction and removal of government property during the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
United States District Court Judge Anna J. Brown found Jason Patrick, Darryl Thorn, Duane Ehmer, and Jake Ryan guilty of trespassing and tampering with vehicles and equipment. Additionally, Jason Patrick was found guilty of destruction and removal of property.
All four defendants were previously found guilty of felonies in a jury trial ending March 10, 2017. Felony convictions ranged from conspiracy to impede officers of the United States by force, threats, or intimidation to possession of firearms on a federal facility and depredation of government property.
Beginning on January 2, 2016, Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, and several dozen followers, seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon in Harney County. For forty-one days, the armed occupiers prevented federal officials from performing their official duties at the refuge by force, threats, and intimidation. The Bundys and several other occupiers, were arrested on January 26, 2016 on U.S. Highway 395 near Burns en route to a community meeting in John Day. The occupation officially ended on February 11, 2016 when the last four occupiers turned themselves in to federal authorities.
The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Geoffrey Barrow and Ethan Knight, Assistant United States Attorneys for the District of Oregon.