Cliven Bundy — the Nevada rancher behind a 2014 showdown with federal authorities and father of two leaders arrested in the Oregon standoff — has been accused of six violations of federal law, including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and assault of a federal law enforcement officer.
Bundy was arrested late Wednesday evening in Portland, Oregon. The allegations contained in the criminal complaint filed in Nevada are focused on the 2014 showdown at his Bundy Ranch. None of the charges pertain to the Oregon refuge standoff that his sons were involved in.
In addition to the conspiracy charge and assault charges, the complaint accuses Bundy of the use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence; obstruction of justice; interference of commerce by extortion; and aiding and abetting.
The complaint recounts Bundy’s encounter with law enforcement in April 2014, when “hundreds” of people joined Bundy at his ranch in the standoff. It also details the events that preceded it: Bundy had ignored a court order to remove his cattle from public lands after refusing to pay grazing fees, the complaint said, and Bureau of Land Management officials began an operation to remove the cattle in April. In the lead-up to and during the operation, the complaint said, Bundy and his co-conspirators urged his “followers” to come to the ranch.
The complaint said Bundy and his unnamed co-conspirators used the internet and other facilities of interstate commerce to “knowingly broadcast false, deceitful, and deceptive images and messages for the purpose of recruiting Followers.”
It points specifically to a “deceptive” video called “Range War,” which the complaint says Bundy used to “recruit” followers in the lead-up to the cattle removal operation, as well as to speeches Bundy and his conspirators made urging his followers to “stand up” to law enforcement.
It also accused Bundy and his conspirators of brandishing their weapons at officers, making threats and interfering with their duties.
According to the complaint, hundreds of people showed up, many of them armed, and prevented law enforcement from conducting their operation to remove Bundy’s cattle.
“The Followers’ close proximity to the officers, their array and formation in the wash, their refusal to disperse on upon command, their angry taunts, their numbers carrying or brandishing firearms, their movement to the gate while brandishing assault rifles and wearing body armor, and their superior sniper positions on the bridge above, all caused the officers to fear immediate bodily harm or death,” the complaint said.
Read the complaint below: