Malheur Refuge occupier: ‘Everything was clean’

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was occupied for 41 days

An undated picture of Malheur Refuge occupiers released by Sharla Christie on March 29, 2016
An undated picture of Malheur Refuge occupiers released by Sharla Christie on March 29, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Eyewitnesses from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation said pictures released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are staged.

The USFWS released more than 2 dozen photos showing piles of garbage, property damage and what appears to be human waste on the floor. The total damage is estimated around $6 million.

Complete coverage of the Malheur Takeover

But Guy Finicum, the brother of LaVoy Finicum, and former occupier Sharla Christie said the pictures were embellished and the cost inflated.

“They were very serious about taking good care of that property,” Christie said at a news conference in Arizona. “Every thing was clean. I didn’t see any damage whatsoever.”

Shawna Cox, who was with LaVoy Finicum when he died, was scheduled to speak at the news conference. But she said federal authorities issued a gag order just minutes before.

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was overtaken on Jan. 2 and remained occupied until Feb. 11.

A total of 26 people face federal charges in connection with the takeover and occupation. Brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy remain in jail in Multnomah County, and they also face charges in Nevada related to a standoff with federal agents in 2014.

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