Dildonacht on Highway 35: One dead One wounded

Late yesterday afternoon, the FBI and Oregon State Police intercepted a small group of the radical right-wing terrorists, who had taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, as they were driving to John Day, OR to attend a community meeting. Gunshots were exchanged. Robert LaVoy Finnicum, 54. is dead. Ryan Bundy sustained a non life-threatening gunshot wound to his arm. Four others, including his brother Ammon Bundy, were arrested. The other three are Ryan Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Mont., Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada and Shawna J. Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah.

The Washington Post is reporting,

A sixth person involved in the occupation, Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy of Cottonwood, Ariz., was arrested about an hour and a half after the initial confrontation. Shortly after that, a seventh person — Peter Santilli of Cincinnati, who is known for live streaming refuge events — was arrested in Burns, the seat of Harney County where the refuge is located.

Meanwhile, Jon Eric Ritzheimer, 32, a key leader of the armed occupation, surrendered to police in Arizona on a conspiracy charge Tuesday, the FBI said.

Ritzheimer, who serves as the inspiration for the title, is the man in the video asking people to stop sending sex toys to the wannabe revolutionaries. He also is the guy who organized the armed anti-Muslim rallies in Phoenix, AZ.

Eight people are in federal custody charged with conspiracy to impede federal officers through the use of force, intimidation or threats.

A group of the self-described patriots remains entrenched at the wildlife refuge. The FBI and Oregon State Police are reportedly surrounding the place, possibly with intent to arrest more people. If they are smart, they will surrender. The rest should leave or face arrest and possibly worse.

Later today, possibly this morning, the people in federal custody in Oregon will appear in court for an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge who will review the complaint and attached affidavit regarding the factual basis for probable cause, advise them of their rights, including the right to remain silent and be represented by counsel, and appoint counsel at public expense for those who cannot afford counsel. The judge will find probable cause and all of them will be detained without bail for a detention/preliminary hearing at which time the government will request that they be denied bail pending the outcome of the case. I am expecting that all of them will be detained without bail because they are charged with a crime of violence and they were armed when arrested.

You can reasonably expect that within a month or so a federal grand jury will return an indictment that will include additional charges. The conspiracy charge is just a way to hold them pending the comprehensive indictment coming down the road.

Basically, these defendants buried themselves in a mountain of social-media evidence.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, so to speak, U.S. Attorney Bill Williams, Greg Bretzing (the FBI special agent in charge of the case) and Harney County Sheriff David Ward will be holding a news conference this morning.

13 Responses to Dildonacht on Highway 35: One dead One wounded

  1. Malisha says:

    The ending of this sad affair should be a very good argument for gun control. Here were a bunch of folks with guns. All white folks, by the way, all religious Christians. “Good guys with guns.” Yet the two arguments made for guns: (1) The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun; and (2) We need guns for when the gubmint becomes the free man’s enemy and we have to defend ourselves BOTH GOT DISPROVEN.

    Here was a band of good guys trying to protect themselves against both bad guys and the big bad gobmint and LaVoy Finnicum is dead.

    So it doesn’t work.

    • gblock says:

      It will be interesting to see how the gun fanatics rationalize what happened. Perhaps as “gubmint run amuck” (as preposterous as the claim would be in this case) – but then, how can they claim that guns are an effective defense against it?

  2. Reuters is reporting:

    Eight more people had left the compound by late on Wednesday, the FBI said, and three were arrested and facing charges of felony conspiracy to impede federal officers.

    CBS News adds:

    In a statement Wednesday night, the FBI and Oregon State Police said they had arrested 45-year-old Duane Leo Ehmer of Irrigon, Oregon, and 34-year-old Dylan Wade Anderson of Provo, Utah, around 3:30 p.m., and 43-year-old Jason S. Patrick of Bonaire, Georgia, several hours later.

    The FBI said the men turned themselves in on a road near the refuge, adding that all three had been in contact with the agency since leaving the refuge earlier and that the arrests came without incident.

    There are still some people left at the wildlife center. Maybe a half dozen.

  3. Dave says:

    For those following the Malheur occupation story, the best news source I’ve seen yet is Oregon Public Broadcasting. This page on their website has links to a pdf of the Criminal Complaint filed against the Bundys and several other defendants:


  4. Malisha says:

    Professor, something occurred to me: In the Dred Scott case, Chief Justice (of US Supreme Court) Roger Taney said that Congress did not have the right to legislate anything in its territories in the West. At that point in time, the land they were referring to was (I believe) Illinois Territory, but whatever. All these lands later became states. Now the Bundy crowd and their “Sovereign Citizen” base are basically arguing the same thing. IS IT TIME NOW to get some kind of federal declaratory judgment going that overturns the Dred Scott Decision and proclaims the right of the U.S. Government to govern the lands it owns in the West?

    • bettykath says:

      I think that once the territories organized themselves into states, and were accepted as states, that the question of federal governance was settled.

      • bettykath says:

        To further my thought: the relationship between the states and the federal government was settled (more or less). New states would have that same relationship, moving from a territory relationship to a state relationship with the feds

  5. Malisha says:

    I’ve been following the story since the beginning. This crowd is far from harmless, and the guy who got himself killed, Finnicum, was a dangerous madman. Since the federal government had been enablers at the 2014 Bundy Ranch “show-down” (which was not a show-down but an organized crime that was not prosecuted) I was half expecting them to let this go because actually, behind it, was ALEC and the private interests that want to get ahold of our federal land. They just used these nutjobs (who were dumb enough to not realize it was happening that way or why).

    The problem is, of course, that it really did cause a lot of excitement among a crowd of fans who are heavily armed. We shall see.

  6. Two sides to a story says:

    Love the title, Fred!

    Such a needless tragedy – these folks apparently need a huge lesson but I doubt they understand it.

  7. bettykath says:

    I’m sorry there was violence with someone killed, but I’m not surprised. It has been suggested that it’s time to turn off the power and blockade the roads so that travel in and out is restricted. Sounds like a good idea to me. The BLM isn’t known for always doing what’s right, but when the community and the native Americans don’t want these guys there, it’s time for them to go home, or to jail. With the leadership in custody, I suspect that many will go home if allowed to go.

  8. gblock says:

    What these so-called “patriots” were really standing up for was Bundy’s alleged right to evade federal laws and taxes and purposely make a nuisance of himself.

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