Ammon Bundy, brother Ryan Bundy, Ryan Payne and Peter Santilli -- already indicted in the armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon -- now face federal indictment along with Cliven Bundy in the 2014 armed standoff near the Bundy ranch in Nevada.
The indictment charges the four with 16 felonies: one count of conspiring to commit an offense against the United States, one count of conspiring to impede or injure a federal officer, four counts of carrying a firearm in a crime of violence, two counts of assault on a federal officer, two counts of threatening a federal law enforcement officer, three counts of obstructing justice, two counts of interfering with interstate commerce by extortion and one count of interstate travel in aid of extortion.
It also levels five counts of criminal forfeiture against each defendant. If convicted of the offenses, they would have to forfeit property obtained from the proceeds of their crimes, totaling at least $3 million, including cattle at the so-called Bunkerville Allotment and Lake Mead National Recreational Area in Nevada. They also would have to forfeit firearms and ammunition used in the April 12, 2014, standoff with federal authorities.
Payne is accused of organizing armed "protection'' for the alleged conspirators in Nevada, and Santilli, an independent broadcaster, is accused of recruiting followers using the Internet.
According to the indictment, Santilli tried to "incite listeners'' to travel to the Bundy Ranch for unlawful purposes. It quotes him saying on April 8, 2014, "if this is not the issue right now where we stand and fight to the absolute death there is no other option; the federal government must get out of the state of Nevada...if you're in Nevada and can legally carry, get weapons out there, o.k...we are going to stand and fight in Clark County, Nevada.''
Santilli's court-appointed lawyer Thomas Coan has argued in federal court in Portland that his client, a "shock jock,'' is being persecuted for his political speech and bravado in his online broadcasts.