BURNS, Ore. (AP) – The latest on an armed group that took over buildings at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon (all times local):
The last few occupiers of an Oregon wildlife refuge have posted another video in which they say they want pardons for everyone involved in the nearly monthlong standoff.
Four people remain at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. In a video posted Friday to the YouTube channel “DefendYourBase,” which the group has been using to give live updates, the occupiers said they were in contact with the FBI.
A speaker believed to be David Fry said he asked the FBI whether it was possible to “get out of here without charges,” but “they keep saying that’s not possible.”
He asks “why can’t they pardon all of us?” and says their demand is reprieves for all involved.
Eleven people have been arrested, and a judge has said none of them will be released from jail until the standoff ends.
Ammon Bundy and his armed followers made ample use of social media while occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge, and federal officials are using those posts, videos and photos to build the case against them.
Two criminal complaints show that federal authorities have carefully scrutinized the group’s social media postings and video interviews.
A day after the Jan. 2 occupation began, Bundy posted a video saying the group planned to stay for several years and calling on “people to come out here and stand” and “we need you to bring your arms.”
Another defendant, Jon Ritzheimer, posted a video Jan. 4 saying he was “100 percent willing to lay my life down.”
Bundy and other main figures in the standoff face their second court appearance Friday. A total of 11 people have been charged.
Four holdouts are still occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
The FBI says four holdouts still are occupying a national wildlife preserve in southeast Oregon.
Bureau spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele said “nothing at all” happened overnight at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and she wouldn’t discuss any strategic decisions planned for Friday.
The holdouts have been frequently posting to the YouTube channel “DefendYourBase” during the nearly four-week-old standoff but have not issued a video update since Thursday morning.
The three men and one woman have refused to leave without assurances they won’t be arrested.
Authorities have apprehended 11 other activists, including group leader Ammon Bundy, and have fatally shot another during a traffic stop.
The group came to Oregon to protest federal land restrictions and the prison sentences of two local ranchers convicted of setting fires.
A federal judge says she will not release any of the people arrested in the standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge while the occupation continues.
The Oregonian reports U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman made the comments Thursday during an initial court appearance in Portland for three of the 11 people arrested. The FBI said four people remained at the site late Thursday.
The hearing came shortly after the group’s leader, Ammon Bundy, repeated his call for the holdouts to go home. Bundy was arrested Tuesday in a confrontation with law enforcement that left one of the occupiers dead.
Bundy and several of the other occupiers have another federal court hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon.
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