Arrested militants booked into Multnomah Co. jail

Seven of the 8 people arrested for their roles in the militia takeover at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Jan. 27, 2016 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
Seven of the 8 people arrested for their roles in the militia takeover at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Jan. 27, 2016 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Militia leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy along with five other members of the group were booked into Multnomah County Jail early Wednesday morning.

One person died and 8 were arrested after the FBI and the Oregon State Police intercepted the group along Highway 395.

The militants were heading to a community meeting in John Day when they were confronted by authorities.

Shots were fired after FBI agents, Oregon State Police and other authorities made the stop. SWAT team members reportedly opened fire after a high-speed getaway attempt and a reach for the waistband, CNN reported.

Militia spokesperson LaVoy Finicum was killed during the arrest.

The FBI and OSP made the following arrests: Ammon Bundy, 40, from Emmett, Idaho; Ryan Bundy, 43, from Bunkerville, Nevada; Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada; Shawna Cox, 59, Kanab, Utah; and Ryan Waylen Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Montana.

Two others, 45-year-old Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy of Cottonwood, Arizona, and 50-year-old Pete Santilli of Cincinnati, were arrested by OSP in separate incidents in Burns, officials said.

Santilli is an ultra-right wing online talk show host who has been embedded with the militia since the occupation began.

Who remains at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge

It was unclear how many people remained in the buildings at the refuge. Late Tuesday night there was no obvious police presence there and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown asked for “patience as officials continue pursuit of a swift and peaceful resolution.”

Early Wednesday, the FBI and Oregon State Police established a series of checkpoints along key routes into and out refuge. The agencies said in a statement that the containment was to ‘better ensure the safety of community members.” According to the statement, only Harney County ranchers who own property in specific areas will be required to show identification and be allowed to pass.

Three more people connected to the occupation were arrested Wednesday afternoon as they left the refuge.

Complete coverage of the militia at Malheur

Brand Thornton, one of Bundy’s supporters, said he left the refuge Monday and wasn’t sure what those remaining would do.

“The entire leadership is gone,” he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “I wouldn’t blame any of them for leaving.”

Thornton called the arrests “a dirty trick” by law enforcement.

The militants, calling themselves Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, came to the frozen high desert of eastern Oregon to decry what it calls onerous federal land restrictions and to object to the prison sentences of two local ranchers convicted of setting fires.

Specifically, the group wanted federal lands turned over to local authorities. The U.S. government controls about half of all land in the West. Conflicts over Western land use stretch back decades.

In the 1970s, Nevada and other states pushed for local control in what was known as the Sagebrush Rebellion. Supporters wanted more land for cattle grazing, mining and timber harvesting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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