‘Armed guard’ from Malheur takeover to be sentenced

Jason Charles Blomgren was arrested on Feb. 11, 2016 after leaving the takeover on Jan. 25, 2016

Jason Blomgren and John Ritzheimer shown sitting together. (Court documents and Facebook)
Jason Blomgren and John Ritzheimer shown sitting together. (Court documents and Facebook)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Federal prosecutors are seeking a 2 year probation sentence for one of the men who acted as an armed guard during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Jason Charles Blomgren will appear in U.S. District Court on Monday before the Honorable Robert E. Jones.

In June 2016, Blomgren pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to impede Federal Officers by force, threat, or intimidation.

The takeover at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge lasted from Jan. 2 through Feb. 11, 2016. According to federal prosecutors, Blomgren performed armed guard duty at the gate of the MNWR and in the tower at the entrance of the MNWR. Investigators learned Blomgren had a Facebook account and that on January 10, 2016, he posted a picture of himself and John Ritzheimer.

On January 11, 2016, Blomgren posted a video on his Facebook account that showed him sitting next to Ritzheimer, was talking about people claiming the land and using the land, and how they were there to “defend the land.”

As Ritzheimer made his statements, Blomgren nodded in approval and said, “Hear that.”

During the occupation, Blomgren posted many messages on his Facebook account regarding the occupation, including asking for more men from groups and organizations to help support their cause.

He was arrested on Feb. 11, 2016 after leaving the takeover on Jan. 25.

According to his criminal defense attorney, Blomgren heard about the situation at the MNWR online. He drove from his home in North Carolina to Oregon and arrived at the refuge after the occupation started. During the time that he was there, Blomgren stayed in the bunkhouse and was not a leader in the situation but merely did as he was told.

“During his time at the refuge, Mr. Blomgren never fired a weapon or used one in a threatening manner,” his attorney wrote in court documents.