Two occupiers guilty of conspiracy in Malheur standoff


A jury on Friday convicted two men of conspiracy to impede federal officers during last year's high-profile armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in OR in a protest over control of federal lands.

Patrick, Thorn, Ehmer and Ryan were considered less prominent players in last year's 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in a remote part of Eastern Oregon's high desert. They were allowed to come and go for several weeks as authorities tried to avoid bloodshed seen in past standoffs at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

The actual leaders of the occupation, including brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, went to trial past year - and, in a surprising verdict, were all found not guilty of conspiracy. While the standoff ended with no injury to federal officers, Robert "LaVoy" Finicum was shot and killed by law enforcement following a chase".

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The complete story is on the Oregon Public Broadcasting website.

Ryan, Thorn and Patrick also were charged with carrying a firearm in a federal facility. All of the defendants had been acquitted in the first trial.

OPB's Conrad Wilson sat down with Oregon's U.S. Attorney Billy Williams and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight, who led the prosecution in Malheur case.

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Defendants Duane Ehmer and Jake Ryan were acquitted of conspiracy, but convicted on lesser charges. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

Co-defendants Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Shawna Cox, David Fry, Jeff Banta, Kenneth Medenbach and Neil Wampler were previously found not guilty on all counts by a jury on October 27, 2016.

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