Informant driving car when Ammon Bundy arrested

Government informant Mark McConnell told police occupiers' location

Highway 395 at the intersection of US 20 north of Burns -- not far from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge -- closed in both directions, Jan. 26, 2016 (KOIN)
Highway 395 at the intersection of US 20 north of Burns -- not far from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge -- closed in both directions, Jan. 26, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A government informant was driving Ammon Bundy’s car when he and 7 others were arrested along Hwy 395 in January, Oregon State Police trooper Jeremiah Beckert confirmed in court Wednesday.

The trooper told jurors informant Mark McConnell was cooperating with police when he let them know the group was heading to a community meeting in John Day.

Beckert testified that he was in an unmarked pickup on the side of Hwy 395 when the group of occupiers were pulled over for probable cause on federal charges, not because they had committed a traffic violation.

The FBI and OSP engaged in a shootout with Malheur militia members along Hwy 395 north of Burns, Jan. 26, 2016 (Courtesy to KOIN: Raymond Doherty)
The FBI and OSP engaged in a shootout with Malheur militia members along Hwy 395 north of Burns, Jan. 26, 2016 (Courtesy to KOIN: Raymond Doherty)

He added that Ammon Bundy was not armed at the time of the arrest.

On Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel told the court Ammon Bundy had more than $8,000 in his jacket when he was taken into custody.

Beckert told the court the high-risk traffic stop was a “once in a lifetime incident.”

Prosecutors showed the jury guns and rounds of ammunition recovered from the scene. They also played video of 4 off-screen shots fired at the FBI plane that was overhead during the traffic stop.

Unedited video of the incident posted on the FBI’s YouTube page:

Before jurors entered the courtroom Wednesday, Judge Anna Brown ordered attorneys not to “talk about the circumstances surrounding LaVoy’s death.”

Attorney Marcus Mumford with his client Ammon Bundy during opening statements in the Malheur Refuge takeover trial, September 13, 2016 (For KOIN: Sketch Artist Deborah Marble)
Attorney Marcus Mumford with his client Ammon Bundy during opening statements in the Malheur Refuge takeover trial, September 13, 2016 (For KOIN: Sketch Artist Deborah Marble)

But Marcus Mumford, Ammon Bundy’s attorney, ignored that and asked Beckert, “LaVoy was shot 3 times. Correct?”

Prosecutors objected and Judge Brown sustained the objection.

During Ryan Bundy’s cross examination of Beckert, he asked, “So the round shot into my shoulder, was it meant to be lethal?” Bundy then asked, “As an officer of the US, don’t you have the obligation to uphold the Constitution?” Objections to both questions were sustained.

Complete coverage of the Malheur Refuge case

The Bundy brothers, Jeff Banta, Neil Wampler, Kenneth Medenbach, David Fry and Shawna Cox all pleaded not guilty to conspiring to impede federal employees from carrying out their work at the refuge through intimidation, threats or force.

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