Bundy Family Targeted

By John Friend —

In a move no doubt calculated to demonstrate the power and vindictiveness of the federal government, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and four individuals close to him were indicted by a federal grand jury in the state of Nevada in mid-February. The others named in the indictment were Bundy’s sons, Ryan and Ammon, militiaman Ryan Payne, and Pete Santilli, an independent broadcaster who covered both the Bundy Ranch standoff in 2014 and the Oregon standoff earlier this year.

On February 10, one week prior to the federal indictment being made public, Cliven Bundy was arrested at Portland International Airport while on his way to Burns, Oregon. According to the Bundy family, Cliven was surrounded by SWAT officers shortly after landing in Portland and was subsequently taken into custody.


The Bundy patriarch is widely hailed as a hero in the American patriot community for standing up to the federal government in the spring of 2014, an event AMERICAN FREE PRESS reported on at the time. His sons were instrumental in organizing the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon earlier this year in protest of federal land management policies in the region.

Bundy family members have collaborated with a number of militia-style and constitutional groups over the course of the past two years and are widely recognized as honest patriots attempting to check the tyrannical nature of the federal government, especially as it relates to federal land use policy in Nevada and other Western states.

The federal government owns massive amounts of land in the West, which many view as legally dubious or outright fraudulent according to the Constitution. A dispute between federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages land owned by the federal government, and a local ranching family near Burns, Oregon sparked the occupation of the Refuge, an event that drew international media attention, as did the Bundy ranch standoff in Nevada in early 2014.

Sixteen felony charges were leveled against the Bundy men and their two associates, all of which stem from the standoff at the Bundy family ranch near Bunkerville, Nevada in April 2014. Ryan and Ammon Bundy, along with Payne and Santilli, also face federal charges in the state of Oregon for their role in the standoff at Malheur just south of Burns, an event AFP has reported on extensively in recent editions.

“Cliven D. Bundy, 69, of Bunkerville, Nevada, Ryan C. Bundy, 43, of Mesquite, Nevada, Ammon E. Bundy, 40, of Emmet, Idaho, Ryan W. Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Montana, and Peter T. Santilli, Jr., 50, of Cincinnati, Ohio, are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, one count of conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer, four counts of using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, two counts of assault on a federal officer, two counts of threatening a federal law enforcement officer, three counts of obstruction of the due administration of justice, two counts of interference with interstate commerce by extortion, and one count of interstate travel in aid of extortion,” reads a press release announcing the federal indictment from the United States Attorneys Office in the District of Nevada. “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.”

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Officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nevada, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the BLM made the announcement Wednesday, February 17.

“The rule of law has been reaffirmed with these charges,” U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada stated. “Persons who use force and violence against federal law enforcement officers who are enforcing court orders, and nearly causing catastrophic loss of life or injury to others, will be brought to justice.”

Cliven and his sons, along with Payne and Santilli, remain in federal custody in Portland.

Ammon Bundy, who was a leading figure and spokesman for the occupation of the wildlife refuge, released a statement from jail the day after the federal indictment in Nevada was made public. Bundy did not mince words in his response to the federal indictment against him and his associates.


“[T]his is just a continuation of government trying to protect its own power, government taking land that does not belong to them from the people,” Bundy’s statement read. “This is a continuation of them overreaching—going far beyond their constitutional bounds and showing that they are willing to use the court system to prosecute people that were defending their rights; defending their property. And don’t forget what happened at the Bundy Ranch: that they killed cattle, that they Tased people, that they threw women on the ground, that they sicced their dogs on pregnant women, that they gang-beat men to the ground for filming them with their iPad. And that they set up a First Amendment right area and saying that you cannot protest outside those corrals. Don’t forget what happened at the Bundy Ranch and how important this is that we make a stand.”

Santilli, the controversial renegade broadcaster, plans to fight the federal charges, arguing his activities are protected under the First Amendment. The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon even came to Santilli’s defense recently in a published letter from its director, although they are not officially representing the outspoken media personality.

“This is a 50-year-old guy with no history of any violence,” Thomas Coan, an attorney representing Santilli, recently told reporters. “Everything the government is claiming against him is based upon either his speech or his using speech to assemble people.”

From all indications, the Bundys also plan on fighting the federal charges currently pending against them. AFP will continue to follow this developing story.

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John Friend is a California-based writer who maintains a blog.

13 Comments on Bundy Family Targeted

  1. I agree with John Thomas. It’s hard for me to understand how threatening federal employees at gunpoint over a refusal to pay grazing fees on public land can be construed as a fight for “freedom.” It seems to be to be about economics. As far as freedom goes, my property borders BLM and national forest land. There is regulated grazing and logging on this land. The Great Divide Mountain Bike Tail also runs through this land, which hundreds of people use each year. I can freely hunt, fish, hike, snowshoe and recreate on this land, as do thousands of people living here. Conversely, my nearest neighbor up the road is a cattle ranch owned by a magnate living in Taiwan. All his land is posted. Nobody except his family and workers has any access to his land (he owns it and that’s his right but my point is his land does not belong “to the people.” The Bundys want all federal land turned over to people like this rancher—in the name of “freedom”? Also, there are multiple Superfund sites within 100 miles of my home, including the Berkely pit, and including a community where the residents need reverse osmosis filters because of mining contamination of the groundwater—stark reminders of what unregulated private enterprise will do to the land if it is able. Regardless of the above, pointing weapons at other people is an extremely serious matter. Bundy should have fought this through the legal system and not by force of arms. You should not threaten the lives of others, and this includes law enforcement officers, without some consequences.
  2. All you Cowboys lust for the public domain. For those of us that don’t have a herd to profit from we like the wilds! W want our share of Elk Deer and other native creatures on our collective land. You can’t have it Cowboys!
  3. “Persons who use force and violence against federal law enforcement officers who are enforcing court orders, and nearly causing catastrophic loss of life or injury to others, will be brought to justice.”

    One must first question the authority of those court orders.

    One must first question the process which omits the feds from doing the same upon the public to which they are suppose to serve.

    One must question how the feds arrived at the idea they own the land and not the people they work for and stole the money from to pay for it.

    One must question above all else, where was the peoples “Consent” in all of this. Without consent, no law can be placed on any free American as it is written!

  4. Cody:

    We do not censor. We post ALL comments when we get to them with the below conditions:

    Required fields are marked with an *. Your email address will not be published. In order to ensure your comment is not lost due to an incorrect CAPTCHA entry, you may want to copy your comment before you click POST COMMENT. All comments containing hyperlinks will be held in moderation until they are formatted properly, but will be posted. All comments containing obscenities will be amended and posted, unless they are too obscene and nonsensical, in which case they will be deleted.

  5. The Bundys and all the other American patriots stand for God, Family, and Freedom. I know their cause is righteous and TRUTH will prevail! It is most certainly easy to separate the goats from the sheep on this injustice being done against Americans. The comments made by the goats show the gods they serve are human. The comments made by the sheep show the God they serve is Lord. God Bless the Bundys and all the other TRUE American patriots who are on the front lines standing up to pure satanical evil. Lavoy Finicum ….enough said! Your god and his goats may win the battle, but my God and his sheep will win the war! Have an awesome day!
  6. Commenters “Joe, David Jenkins, John Thomas” are incorrect and they show their ignorance to what is contained in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Sam Adams would have never asked from any of you to help us fight British tyranny because of your stupidity and cowardice. Keep enjoying your “freedom” although you are all slaves.
  7. What happened to my comment?

    Does this website censor this much? My deleted post provided an insight about the growing fascist State in America and how environmentalists are being use.

  8. Most of you morons would have been on the side of the KING in 1776. Those were called TORIES and were tarred and feathered after the war was won. Deservedly so. You should realize how weak the Fed’s case is by the amount of trumped up charges. The WEAKER their case, the GREATER the trumped up charges. I’m sure they left out “Breathing Federal Air, Fine = $10 Million and execution.”
  9. I feel sorry for all you environmentalists that are unwittingly being led around by the growing fascist State.

    Benito Mussolini was the WWII PM of Italy who stated:

    Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.

    This definition is extremely important today.

    In the 1990s Vice President Al Gore publicly called for a “National Partnership for Reinventing Government” which fuses government and corporatism with the environmental movement.

    What did this CFR member know that the rest of us didn’t?

    It was here that the totalitarian call for fascism was first publicly made, of which we are experiencing today.

    To all you environmentalists and leftists out there, you need to recognize fascism. It is in our midst and playing you for the fool.

    Your “alliance” with the corporate-government partnership is NOT about you or is it something you want to support. As Yuri Bezmenov, a former KGB officer stated, you are being used as “useful idiots” by allowing corporatism (fascism) to take all the lands for their personal profits. You will not preserve the land you sought so hard to preserve. Instead of enjoying the beauty of the land, it will be closed off to you and the public. Behind closed doors the land will be leased to corporations to be stripped of its natural resources and sold off to international interests. It will be a land denuded of its flora and wildlife and greatly polluted. This is what governments always do.

    Governments are by far the greatest polluters in the world.

    While they exempt themselves and their crony capitalist partners from environmental laws, the rest of us are to abide by these dictates to the letter.

    I feel sorry for you environmentalists. You sleep with a ravenous wolf and don’t even recognize it.

    The end game is once your usefulness is no longer needed, you will finally recognize that freedom has always been inherently based on property rights. By then, it will be too late. You will end up like the rest of us without any freedom at all and without property—essentially a slave.

  10. To remember on April 17, 1775 at Hartwell Tavern did attack our lawful protector in action of there duties. These terrorists seek to disrupt legal government and drive a wedge between our leaders and the common people. Therefore, we should condemn the action on that date and beg forgiveness and reunite with a natural home land.
  11. How can someone claim to be a patriot and say, as Cliven Bundy has, that he does not recognize the United States as even existing? His willingness to incite armed aggression in a democracy is an assault on our founding fathers, the Constitution, and our system of government. Bundy is nothing more than a bully and a crime boss who does not recognize anyone’s rights but his own. Every thing he does is self-serving. As any real conservative can attest, freedom and responsibility must go hand in hand, you cannot have one without the other. Bundy may finally learn this now that he is behind bars.
  12. Selective reading of the Constitution, ignorance of the details history (beyond slogans), and hiding behind your guns, does not make you right. The Bundy cowboys engaged in illegal and threatening behavior that got them the attention it deserves. If they win in court, great. If not, tough luck. We, the rest of the people, disagree with their ideas and tactics.

Comments are closed.