Occupiers to face firearms, conspiracy charges

The Oregon occupiers will face firearms and conspiracy charges

Cowboy Dwane Ehmer, of Irrigon Ore., rides his horse at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, near Burns, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Defendants who will head to trial in connection to the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge will face charges of conspiracy to impede federal officers and firearms possession in a federal facility.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that a federal judge ruled in written orders filed Friday that the charges will stand, despite defense attorney’s arguments that the allegations were unconstitutionally vague or broad, or that the federal government did not have jurisdiction over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The judge has not yet ruled if a third count of using and carrying a firearm in the course of a crime of violence will stand.

The charges stem from a 41-day occupation of the refuge. The occupiers wanted the federal government to relinquish public lands to locals and free two Oregon ranchers imprisoned for setting fires.

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