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FBI investigates Bundy ranch supporters

Published time: May 09, 2014 15:20
Chris Shelton of Las Vegas interacts with his 1-week-old son as his mother Shelley Shelton holds his rifle during a Bundy family "Patriot Party" near Bunkerville, Nevada, April 18, 2014. (Reuters/Steve Marcus)

Chris Shelton of Las Vegas interacts with his 1-week-old son as his mother Shelley Shelton holds his rifle during a Bundy family "Patriot Party" near Bunkerville, Nevada, April 18, 2014. (Reuters/Steve Marcus)

While Cliven Bundy supporters praised the armed individuals who came to the defense of the Nevada rancher in his land rights dispute with the federal government, the FBI is now investigating them for possible criminal offenses.

The armed standoff between the Bureau of Land Management and Bundy – who has refused to pay $1 million in animal grazing fees the government claims he’s owned since the 1990s – has now been over for weeks, but recently it’s been those supporters and armed state militia members who’ve come under the spotlight.

According to local Las Vegas news outlet KLAS, multiple sources have confirmed the FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the event. When Bundy declined to pay up – he claims he does not owe the government anything since his ancestors had used the land for more than a century – federal agents began seizing his cattle. As sympathetic supporters descended upon the ranch – most who believed the government was overreaching – the BLM backed off and released the cattle back into Bundy’s custody.

Now, however, there are allegations that Bundy supporters went too far, with many reportedly pointing their weapons at Metro officers who got between them and BLM agents. It is illegal to point a loaded weapon at federal officials, and some Metro officials have told the FBI that Bundy’s supporters launched death threats against them.

"The federal authorities are conducting an investigation and I am pretty confident it is going to go into the future," Metro Assistant Sheriff Joe Lombardo said to KLAS.

"(Would there be consequences for somebody there on video tape, on a news camera pointing a gun at a Metro officer, pointing a gun at a federal ranger?) Yes, there is definitely going to be consequences, definitely. That is unacceptable behavior. If we let it go, it would continue into the future," he added.

Lombardo, along with Sheriff Doug Gillespie and numerous other Metro officers, have already been interviewed by the FBI. Metro Police Sgt. Tom Jenkins claimed that some Bundy supporters even set up armed positions near women and children.

"It is not a rumor … You saw kids and women and horses in the backdrop and then men with guns, laying on the ground, in the back of pickup trucks,” stated officer. "We're going, 'wow, this would never happen in Las Vegas,' But it was there. That is not a rumor. It is reality and I saw it with my own eyes," Metro Police Sgt. Tom Jenkins said.

According to KLAS, Bundy supporters have denied the accusations through email and phone calls. No individuals were cited, but they said the only people pointing guns at others were BLM agents.

This development is just the latest regarding Bundy supporters, who have come under the spotlight recently. As RT reported earlier this week, US Rep.Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) has called on the state’s governor to intervene and remove what he called “armed separatists.”

Just a few days before that, supporters also lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for calling Bundy a “hateful racist” who “mooches” off public land. They criticized Reid for provoking what they termed “a civil war.”

Comments (113)


Vicca N Jesse Thompson 24.06.2014 17:19

I agree with John. Love is so much better than killing.


John M. Wadsworth 11.05.2014 23:46

Bitcoin Buddhist 10.05.2014 21:53

it's unfortunate but if those folks are confronted by law enforcement I hope they shoot to kill any and all the government agents...enough is enough...


Ho w could you hope for the death of others? I don't get that at all. You kill a man and you take from him everything he ever was and everything he ever will be.

I HOPE that people learn to live in peace, instead.


John M. Wadsworth 11.05.2014 23:34

FilthyRatBasta rd 11.05.2014 05:49

Sorry I ever called for US to conquer Canada but I do believe in a united Americas both North and South for the benifit of our whole continent....will solve so many immigration issues also.


So you want a single state with The U.S., Canada, AND Mexico too? Is that what you are saying? That's the only way to solve immigrations issues. But it won't solve any problems if its just the U.S. and Canada. We don't have a border crossing problem with Canada. If anything, Canada appears to have a border crossing problem with the U.S.

View all comments (113)
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