Malheur Refuge Standoff: ‘We’re going to turn ourselves in’

FBI checkpoint at the near Burns, Oregon

FBI checkpoint at the near Burns, Oregon

The remaining protesters have made an arrangement with the FBI tonight that the FBI will stand down after threatening an impending siege on the compound at the Malheur wildlife refuge, occupiers say they will meet FBI at checkpoint at 8am in the morning. The FBI says that they will be on watch all night to make sure no one goes anywhere this evening.

Sandy and Sean Anderson tells Gavin Seim tonight on a live feed that the FBI has offered to meet them at a checkpoint at 8am (PST) on Thursday.

He says the four of them have agreed to leave their weapons in their vehicles before approaching the checkpoint, and the keys on the seats of their vehicles.

Both Andersons say they want the media to be present at the checkpoint.

“The world’s going to be watching,” says Seim. “They’re not just going to haul you away into the darkness.”

Reverend Graham and Michele Fiore will go to the checkpoint in the morning and then the remaining protesters will walk with flags at 8am to the checkpoint and turn themselves in. They expect to be treated with respect when doing so.

‘We’re going to turn ourselves in’

Sean Anderson repeats that the occupiers intend to “turn ourselves in” on Thursday morning.

FBI checkpoint at the near Burns, Oregon

FBI checkpoint at the near Burns, Oregon

In the meantime, he says, they want to return to their camp and sleep for the night, before meeting the FBI (along with Fiore and Franklin Graham, potentially) at the checkpoint:

I just hope that they keep their word. We’ll keep our word. And we’ll clear this up in the morning.

Anderson tells Fiore:

We are not surrendering, we’re turning ourselves in …

It goes against everything we believe in but we’re going to do it.

We’re going to walk one after another, with the flag, and we’re going to turn ourselves in.

What are the charges the four occupiers are facing? Sam Levin explains:

The four holdouts – along with 12 others associated with the standoff who have already been taken into custody – are all facing federal felony charges of conspiracy to impede officers from discharging official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats.

Cowboy Dwane Ehmer, of Irrigon Ore., a supporter of the group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, rides his horse at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, near Burns, Ore. Three Oregon sheriffs met with leaders of an armed group to try to persuade them to end their occupation of the federal wildlife refuge after many local residents made it plain that's what they want. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Cowboy Dwane Ehmer, of Irrigon Ore., a supporter of the group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, rides his horse at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, near Burns, Ore. Three Oregon sheriffs met with leaders of an armed group to try to persuade them to end their occupation of the federal wildlife refuge after many local residents made it plain that’s what they want. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

If convicted, they could face six-year prison sentences, meaning the militia members may end up spending more time behind bars than the two Oregon ranchers whose imprisonment inspired the standoff.

The charge of impeding government officials is a broad allegation that experts say covers many of the illegal actions that have occurred at the federally protected wildlife sanctuary.

The basic contention of federal prosecutors is that protesters’ armed occupation blocked government workers from executing their duties at the refuge.

Prosecutors largely targeted high-profile leaders and militia members and then added the four holdouts to the case in a recent grand jury indictment.

"Don't tread on me"

“Don’t tread on me”

Call Scott Bowman at the Portland F.B.I. field office; phone number: 503-224-4181, option 0 to get a live representative and let them know how you feel about this if you feel that they need to stand down and release those involved.

 

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