He was reportedly on his way to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in isolated southeastern Oregon, where an armed occupation in its 41st day seemed to be coming to an end. The occupation had been organized by Bundy’s sons Ammon and Ryan, who are now in jail facing a felony charge of conspiracy to impede a federal officer.
The FBI in Portland would not confirm the circumstances of elder Bundy’s arrest. But the Oregonian reported that he was apprehended at Portland International Airport after disembarking from his flight from Las Vegas late Wednesday night. The newspaper said that Bundy, 74, faces the same charge as his son in relation to his standoff with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in 2014. He also faces weapons charges, it said.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. (Pacific) on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, one of the occupiers rode an ATV outside the barricades established by the militia at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. FBI agents attempted to approach the driver, and he returned to the encampment at the refuge at a high rate of speed.
At this time, the FBI has moved to contain the remaining occupiers by placing agents at barricades both immediately ahead of and behind the area where the occupiers are camping. Negotiations between the occupiers and the FBI continue. No shots have been fired.
“It has never been the FBI’s desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue, and to that end, the FBI has negotiated with patience and restraint in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully. However, we reached a point where it became necessary to take action in a way that best ensured the safety of those on the refuge, the law enforcement officers who are on scene, and the people of Harney County who live and work in this area,” said Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.
[Update via Oregonlive.com]
BURNS – FBI agents in armored vehicles on Wednesday evening moved in on the last four occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, hemming them into their rough camp and insisting they put down their guns and surrender.
The occupiers rejected the demands, instead insisting that they be allowed to surrender on Thursday morning in the company of a national religious figure and a Nevada state legislator.
The standoff played out for hours into Wednesday night through an open phone line being streamed to YouTube. At one point, an estimated 60,000 people listened as the occupiers exhibited anger and panic, prayed with those on the phone, and yelled at FBI agents surrounding them.
In a phone conversation on livestream, Sean and Sandy Anderson said they would wait for the arrival of the Rev. Franklin Graham and Nevada state Rep. Michele Fiore before turning themselves in at an FBIcheckpoint near their makeshift camp at the Oregon refuge.
Ms. Fiore arrived Wednesday at Portland International Airport and spoke on the phone with the occupiers.
“We want the media there,” said Mrs. Anderson in a conversation with a supporter, Gavin Seim, adding that she wanted “witnesses.”
At the same time, she said she felt “wrong” about “giving myself to the hands of the enemy,” and worried that if she did turn herself in, “We’re never getting out of prison.”
The occupiers made a real-time public event of the siege on YouTube on Wednesday night, vacillating between warning of a bloodbath they said would be on the FBI’s hands and negotiating surrender terms.
In the livestream of the event, the remaining occupiers expressed fear that federal agents might shoot them. At times, they argued among themselves about how to proceed, including whether to walk out with their hands up.
Repeatedly, they expressed concerns about giving up their weapons or going to prison.
“The Bible says we have the right to defend ourselves,’’ said one of the occupiers. “I’m not leaving without my weapons.’’
As tensions rose, another vented, “My weapon is in reach so if they fire first, I will take them with me.’’
[UPDATE] More from Oregonlive.com:
FBI tactical teams had quietly moved into the refuge compound Tuesday night, entering the buildings undetected by the occupiers. They apparently were in the buildings through the day Wednesday before agents moved against the encampment.
The occupiers talked over each other, with a mix of anger and panic evident in their voices. The call moderator, identified on the Youtube feed as Gavin Seim, tried to sort out the identities and relayed calls for help to outside parties.
"Just hang in there," he said as he tried to give the occupiers encouragement and calm them down.
At one point on the audio, Sean Anderson was heard yelling, "Did your boss send you here to kill innocent Americans?"
At another point, an agent over a loudspeaker said: "David, I want to talk to you."
"What do you want?" Fry replied, then yelled, "You guys killed LaVoy" and "You let Obama bring terrorists into our country."
Sean Anderson said there were five armored vehicles around the camp. "They have way more guns than us. We need help. ... We will not fire until we're fired upon," he said.
Anderson also was heard saying: "Mark, you promised and you lied again," apparently referring to an FBI negotiator.
His wife chimed in that the four have been asked to put down their guns, but "our weapons are at our sides."
They said they had planned to meet Thursday with Michele Fiore, a Nevada state legislator, and that they had been told Cliven Bundy would appear as well. They also said they wanted someone to get in touch with Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham who had been in touch with the occupiers at one point.