Wave of Arrests Yesterday Over 14 New Indictments Over 2014 Bundy Ranch Standoff
Some more context on my reporting yesterday on the arrest of Jerry DeLemus, husband of New Hampshire state Rep. Susan DeLemus, over his role as part of the "armed militia" in the 2014 standoff on Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch. His arrest was just a small part of a larger wave of such arrests that happened yesterday over 14 new indictments over the old incident.
Eric James Parker, the Hailey electrician whose photograph aiming his rifle at federal agents near the Bundy Ranch in Nevada went worldwide in 2014, was arrested with three other Idaho men Thursday as part of a nationwide roundup.
Parker, 32, and Steve Arthur Stewart, 36, both of Hailey, O. Scott Drexler, 44, of Challis and Todd Engel, 48, of Boundary County were taken into custody on charges stemming from the standoff ….
The others arrested are Melvin D. Bundy, 41, of Round Mountain, Nev.; David H. Bundy, 39, of Delta, Utah; Brian D. Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nev.; Blaine Cooper, 36, of Humboldt, Ariz.; Gerald A. DeLemus, 61, of Rochester, N.H.; Richard R. Lovelien, 52, of Westville, Okla.; Gregory P. Burleson, 52, of Phoenix, Ariz.; Joseph D. O'Shaughnessy, 43, of Cottonwood, Ariz.; and Micah L. McGuire, 31, and Jason D. Woods, 30, both of Chandler, Ariz.
The wheels of police investigations can grind slow, apparently:
"This investigation began the day after the assault against federal law enforcement officers and continues to this day," U.S. Attorney for Nevada Daniel Bogden said in a news release. "We will continue to work to identify the assaulters and their role in the assault and the aftermath, in order to ensure that justice is served."
The newly added defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer. They're also charged with at least one count of using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal law enforcement officer, obstruction of the due administration of justice, interference with interstate commerce by extortion and interstate travel in aid of extortion.
The indictment also alleges five counts of criminal forfeiture, which upon conviction would require forfeiture of property derived from the proceeds of the crimes totaling at least $3 million, as well as the firearms and ammunition possessed and used on April 12, 2014.
And it's not just about the law. It's about messaging, which perhaps seemed more relevant to the Feds after the Oregon Malheur National Wildlife Center standoff:
"These indictments and subsequent arrests send an irrefutable message to the American people that our determination remains steadfast to protect them and pursue individuals who participate in violent acts of this nature," said Special Agent in Charge Laura Bucheit.
I wouldn't dream of trying to refute you, Special Agent in Charge Bucheit!
The story goes on to detail how Mr. Parker specifically had gone on to make a mini-career out of challenging federal agents in various scenarios.