FBI says it has surrounded last occupiers at Oregon refuge

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The FBI said Wednesday it has moved to contain the last few occupiers of an Oregon wildlife refuge who were part of a protest that began more than a month ago over federal land policy.

See Full Article

In a statement, authorities said they placed agents at barricades both immediately ahead of and behind the area where the occupiers were camping. An acquaintance of occupier David Fry was livestreaming on YouTube what he said was an open phone line from the standoff. The occupiers said they were surrounded by armoured vehicles. They can be heard arguing with someone they said was a negotiator.

The four holdouts were the last remnants of an armed group that seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon on Jan. 2 to oppose federal land-use policies.

The FBI said that one of the occupiers rode an ATV on Wednesday afternoon outside the barricades "established by the militia" at the refuge. When agents tried to approach the driver, the FBI said he returned to their camp at a high rate of speed.

"It has never been the FBI's desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue, and to that end, the FBI has negotiated with patience and restraint in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully. However, we reached a point where it became necessary to take action in a way that best ensured the safety of those on the refuge," Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, said in a statement.

The four had refused to leave even after group leader Ammon Bundy and others were arrested on a remote road outside the refuge on Jan. 26. The traffic stop also led police to shoot and kill Arizona rancher Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, who the FBI says was reaching for a gun.

Authorities then surrounded the refuge and later got the holdouts added to an indictment charging 16 people with conspiracy to interfere with federal workers. The four previously said they would not leave without assurances they would not be arrested.

They were: Fry, 27, of Blanchester, Ohio; Jeff Banta, 46, of Elko, Nevada; and married couple Sean Anderson, 48, and Sandy Anderson, 47, of Riggins, Idaho.

They recently posted a series of defiant videos in which Fry shows a defensive perimeter they have built and takes a joyride in a government vehicle. Fry says the FBI told him he faces additional charges because of the barricades.

He said the four have "every right" to defend themselves against a government raid. Fry then drives around in a federally owned truck, saying, "Now you've got another charge on me FBI. I'm driving your vehicle."

His father, William Fry, has said he was disappointed that his son was charged, saying he is no different than those who believe "our country is heading in the wrong direction."

Banta's father, Willard Banta, has said he worried about how the takeover would end. But he sympathized with the occupiers' frustrations with federal land managers, saying, "I support them 100 per cent."

At first, Bundy urged the last holdouts to go home. But in response to the grand jury indictment, he took a more defiant tone from jail.

Bundy called his jailed followers "political prisoners" who were trying to educate ranchers and others about their constitutional rights on federal lands and abuses by U.S. authorities.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Desperate times obscure Canada's role in Iraq's uncertain future

    Canada News CTV News
    ERBIL, Iraq -- A baby's cry pierces the din as dozens of people wait to see a doctor or nurse at what's surely one of the busiest health clinics in the Middle East: inside a sprawling refugee camp that's home to 18,000 displaced men, women and children. Source
  • U.S. House probe into Russia ties to Trump off to rocky start

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- A simmering dispute between leaders of the House intelligence committee spilled into the public Monday over an investigation into whether President Donald Trump has ties to Russia, even as they pledged to conduct a bipartisan probe. Source
  • Turkey jails reporter from Germany's Die Welt paper

    World News CBC News
    Turkish authorities on Monday arrested a reporter for a prominent German newspaper on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organization and inciting the public to violence, Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Baris Yarkadas told reporters outside the courthouse. Source
  • Convicted killer Kelly Ellard allowed temporary escorted prison release

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Convicted killer Kelly Ellard has been granted temporary escorted absences from prison to attend doctor’s appointments and parenting programs for her baby. Parole board member Alex Dantzer says it’s disturbing that Ellard continues to minimize her crime, but in light of her good behaviour in prison she should be allowed the absences. Source
  • Jewish centres cope with more bomb threats; graves also vandalized

    World News Toronto Sun
    PHILADELPHIA - Money is being raised to repair and restore more than 100 headstones that were vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia while police hunt for the person who toppled them. A man visiting Mount Carmel Cemetery on Sunday called police to report that three of his relatives’ headstones had been knocked over and damaged. Source
  • Bartender told 911 Kansas man accused of shooting two Indian men thought they were Iranian

    World News Toronto Sun
    OLATHE, Kan. — A bartender at the restaurant where a man was arrested last week for an apparently racially motivated bar shooting of two Indian men told a 911 dispatcher that the suspect admitted shooting two people, but described them as Iranian. Source
  • Ex-Montreal mayor Applebaum won't appeal corruption conviction

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- The lawyer for former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum says there will be no appeal of his client's conviction on corruption-related charges. Pierre Teasdale confirmed the decision Monday but did not give any reasons. Source
  • Mom not getting son, who weighed 132 lbs. at age 5, back

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, N.S. — A Nova Scotia judge has ruled that a boy who was five years old and weighed 132 pounds when he was taken from his mother will not return to her care, saying living with her was too hazardous to his health. Source
  • Security advisory issued after bomb threats at Jewish schools, centres across U.S.

    World News CTV News
    A national Jewish civil rights organization is urging institutions across the United States to ramp up their security efforts amid a wave of bomb threats phoned into Jewish community centres and schools in as many as 12 U.S. Source
  • 'Just killed two people. Cheers': Murderer sends chilling text to father

    World News Toronto Sun
    A Welsh man sent a bitter text to his father soon after stabbing his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend to death, bizarrely signing off the message by saying “cheers.” Before the double-killing of Zoe Morgan and Lee Simmons in Cardiff, Andrew Saunders took to Google, asking “how long do murderers serve in prison,” according to the Daily Mail. Source