PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -– Cliven Bundy, the patriarch of the Bundy clan and the father of Ammon and Ryan Bundy, made his first court appearance in U.S. District Court in Portland to face charges of 6 crimes against the United States.
Bundy, 74, was arrested at Portland International Airport late Wednesday night. He posted on his Facebook page earlier in the night, indicating he was heading to Portland and planned to go to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Bundy will stay in jail until his second court hearing next week and will be behind bars in the same jail housing his sons, the leaders of an armed group that occupied an Oregon wildlife refuge.
At his first court appearance, he asked for a court-appointed attorney. U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart said she wanted to see financial documents first.
She set a detention hearing for next Tuesday. Bundy will stay in jail until then.
The specific charges
In court documents filed in federal court in the District of Nevada, prosecutors filed Bundy with conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, assault on a federal law enforcement officer, use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, obstruction of the administration of justice, interference with commerce by extortion and aiding and abetting.
Bundy is accused of leading “hundreds of others in using armed force” against law enforcement in order to achieve their criminal objectives. The FBI asserts that Bundy’s goal was to stop the seizure and removal of his cattle that he had “trespassed” on federal land “for over 20 years.”According to an affidavit filed by an FBI Special Agent, Bundy organized and led a “massive” armed assault against federal law enforcement officers in and around Bunkerville, Nevada. Bundy’s goal, according to the FBI, was to “extort the officers into abandoning approximately 400 head of cattle that were in their lawful care and custody.”
In 1998, Bundy was put under a court order to remove the cattle that trespassed, but he refused.
On April 5, 2014, the “removal operation” began and during that time, Bundy is accused of “flooding the internet with false and deceitful images and statements to the effect that law enforcement were abusing Bundy and stealing his cattle,” according to the court documents.
On April 12, 2014, the FBI alleges that Bundy “organized his followers and gave them the order to get cattle” and directed a crowd of hundreds to travel more than five miles to the area were the cattle were corralled.
Court documents assert that in April 2014 Bundy used a “dangerous and deadly weapon” to forcibly assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate and interfere with federal officers while they were working in an official duty.
Cliven Bundy posted to the official Bundy Ranch Facebook page Wednesday night, claiming he was heading to the Harney County Resource Center. He was arrested after landing at Portland International Airport and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center.
On Feb. 2, KOIN 6 News obtained a copy of the certified letter Cliven Bundy sent to Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, Gov. Kate Brown and President Barack Obama stating:
“We the people of Harney County and the United States do give notice that we will retain possession of the Harney County Resource Center.”
The Harney County Resource Center is the name the occupiers gave to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Judge Steven Grasty said Cliven Bundy tweeted the letter to him personally.
“Last night (Feb. 1) I got a tweet with a copy of the letter in it from Mr. Cliven Bundy. I looked at that and wondered what does that mean? Perhaps he thinks he owns the refuge. I don’t think that’s the case.”
Cliven’s sons Ammon and Ryan are also jailed in Multnomah County. They were arrested along Highway 395 when the FBI intercepted a group of armed occupiers heading to a community meeting in John Day.The Bundy family still owes the federal government $1 million in unpaid grazing fees.
They are among over a dozen self-proclaimed patriots facing charges for occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report