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Sat Jan 2, 2016, 08:28 AM

 

Eastern Oregon ranching case fans anti-government sentiment

Source: The Associated Press

PORTLAND ó The father and son of a prominent Oregon ranching family plan to surrender at a California prison next week after a judge ruled they served too little time for setting fires that spread to government lands they leased to graze cattle. Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, said they lit the fires in 2001 and 2006 to reduce the growth of invasive plants and protect their property from wildfires.

The two were convicted of the arsons three years ago and served time ó the father three months, the son one year. But a judge ruled their terms were too short under federal law and ordered them back to prison for about four years each. The decision has generated controversy in a remote part of the state where the Hammonds are well-known for their generosity and community contributions. Itís also playing into a long-simmering conflict between ranchers and the U.S. government over the use of federal land for cattle grazing.

In particular, the Hammondsí new sentences touched a nerve with far-right groups who repudiate federal authority. The son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a standoff with the government over grazing rights, is organizing opposition. In 2014, after the Bureau of Land Management sought to remove Bundyís cattle from public rangeland, armed militiamen confronted federal officials. Bundy stopped paying grazing fees over 20 years ago and owes more than $1 million. Last month, his son Ammon Bundy and a handful of militiamen from other states arrived in Burns, 60 miles from the Hammond ranch.

In an email to supporters, Ammon Bundy criticized the U.S. government for a failed legal process. Federal lawyers prosecuted the Hammonds under an anti-terrorism law that required a five-year minimum sentence, though they have declined to say why. Ammon Bundy wrote that the Hammonds are not terrorists and didnít commit any crimes. He also shamed the Harney County sheriff for not protecting the Hammonds. The sheriff didnít respond to calls from The Associated Press. Ammon Bundy and other right-wing leaders have called on armed militia around the country to come support the Hammonds. The groups will hold a rally and protest in town Saturday.



Read more: http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/33910691-75/eastern-oregon-ranching-case-fans-anti-government-sentiment.html.csp

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Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply Eastern Oregon ranching case fans anti-government sentiment (Original post)
elmac Jan 2016 OP
davidpdx Jan 2016 #1
Ferd Berfel Jan 2016 #6
Marty McGraw Jan 2016 #18
jmowreader Jan 2016 #25
Ferd Berfel Jan 2016 #33
aidbo Jan 2016 #23
DhhD Jan 2016 #30
Human101948 Jan 2016 #2
still_one Jan 2016 #26
trillion Jan 2016 #42
fredamae Jan 2016 #3
pangaia Jan 2016 #13
Lizzie Poppet Jan 2016 #14
classof56 Jan 2016 #19
fredamae Jan 2016 #41
classof56 Jan 2016 #45
fredamae Jan 2016 #48
classof56 Jan 2016 #49
classof56 Jan 2016 #46
fredamae Jan 2016 #47
fredamae Jan 2016 #15
davidpdx Jan 2016 #22
fredamae Jan 2016 #24
davidpdx Jan 2016 #28
fredamae Jan 2016 #32
davidpdx Jan 2016 #37
LWolf Jan 2016 #35
fredamae Jan 2016 #36
LWolf Jan 2016 #38
trillion Jan 2016 #43
packman Jan 2016 #4
christx30 Jan 2016 #12
trillion Jan 2016 #39
mainer Jan 2016 #5
tazkcmo Jan 2016 #11
roguevalley Jan 2016 #16
Abouttime Jan 2016 #44
still_one Jan 2016 #27
Depaysement Jan 2016 #31
Democat Jan 2016 #7
ripcord Jan 2016 #8
sudenlyseymour Jan 2016 #9
Proserpina Jan 2016 #10
DhhD Jan 2016 #17
NobodyHere Jan 2016 #20
McKim Jan 2016 #21
2naSalit Jan 2016 #29
Qutzupalotl Jan 2016 #34
trillion Jan 2016 #40

Response to elmac (Original post)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 08:44 AM

1. Interesting

Eastern Oregon is a bit of a strange place. Like a different state from the rest of Oregon. I had to drive out there every couple years until recently and stay a few days. It was always hot as hell in the middle of the summer.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 10:07 AM

6. I lived in Eugene for 14 years. Bend and beyond is Bundyland

A lot of right wing $$ in Bend these days

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Response to Ferd Berfel (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 01:10 PM

18. Oregaho

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Response to Ferd Berfel (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 02:49 AM

25. Thanks for telling me

The city I live in has hired the "urban renewal" specialist who turned Bend into a tourist trap to work on THIS town - which always was a tourist trap so what he's going to accomplish, I have no idea...

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 12:01 PM

33. Yep. Bend has turned into a refuge for the Calfornia Reich.

Sadly - Bend has become an expensive tourist trap.
THe wingnuts will call that progress.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 07:39 PM

23. West Idaho.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #1)


Response to elmac (Original post)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 08:50 AM

2. They will end up creating another Waco...

 

We will see who ends up the victor in that confrontation.

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Response to Human101948 (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 03:05 AM

26. maybe, but I suspect these jerks will surrender rather than doing a david koresh. They made a real

bad error in judgement by taking over a federal building

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Response to Human101948 (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 08:59 AM

42. They gov needs to stop it now while it's still ruby ridge level.

 

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Response to elmac (Original post)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 09:08 AM

3. Oregon used to

be a leader...a trend setter of progressive stuff...public beaches, bottle bills etc...
We have, under the NeoLib/NeoCon leadership over the years...jumped in and joined the race to the bottom.
I'm embarrassed

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Response to fredamae (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 11:19 AM

13. Isn't the western part of Oregon still much more liberal than the east?

or have things changed there as well?

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Response to pangaia (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 11:27 AM

14. Yes, very much so. (Portlander here)

 

Not, however, by as much of a margin as there once was. Oregon has had a huge influx of people over the last decade-plus...and I'd estimate that the majority of those moving to anywhere in Oregon that isn't Portland or Eugene are conservatives fleeing California. They are, um...not well thought-of by most of us who were already here: they skew local politics and have absolutely hosed low-income Oregonians in terms of housing prices.

The upshot is Oregon is still reliably "blue," but the trend is going the wrong way, if not at a fast pace.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 01:48 PM

19. Yeah, we shoulda closed the Oregon borders north and south about 50+years ago

Right after my spouse imported me from Washington around that time.

Seriously, I know exactly what you're talking about and share your sentiments. I now live in Central Oregon, but for quite a few years lived in a county east of here where the anti-government crowd was downright scary. An ordinance was passed by the people to make the county a "UN-Free Zone", followed by a push to install signs at the borders to that effect. Guess they thought the UN troops, the ones with the blue helmets, would do a U-turn in their armored tanks soon's they saw the signs, which fortunately did not get posted, thanks to a few sane local officials. But the prevailing mindset continued. Environmentalists (there were some) feared for their lives because of the gun-toting 2nd amendment types who were in the shoot-first-ask-questions-later camp, and oh, did I mention, they hated the government, especially the Forest Service. As a public employee, I was greatly relieved to get outa there in one piece.

Things are somewhat better in these parts, but the memories of my time in Eastern Oregon linger, and I'm cautious about bumper stickers I put on my vehicle, plus I'm very low-key about the progressive candidates I support. I'm grateful for Senators Wyden and Merkley, plus Pete Defazio and the other progressive representatives and state officials who help keep Oregon blue. Long may they serve!

Oregon: She Flies With Her Own Wings is our state motto, of course, and I'm happy to be along for the ride!

Cheers and Happy 2016.

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Response to classof56 (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 08:02 AM

41. "Closed the borders 50+ years ago"?

Are you a fan of Oregons great Gov Tom McCall? After all this time-after all the govs Oregon has elected in my lifetime, Gov McCall is still, hands down, my favorite of all. He was a Republican. My entire family dearly loved him and they were Roosevelt Dems!
"In the newest episode of Oregon Experience, we explore how McCall reinterpreted the role of governor. He championed Oregonís quality of life and battled anything that seemed to threaten it. He put environmental protection ahead of economic growth. And he articulated a sense of place that, to this day, informs the way Oregonians think of themselves.

Referring to Oregonís tourist industry in a 1971 speech, McCall may have first publicly voiced his famous ďCome visit, donít stayĒ slogan: ďI urge them to come and come many, many times to enjoy the beauty of Oregon. But I also ask them, for heavenís sake, donít move here to live.Ē"
http://www.opb.org/artsandlife/article/former-governor-tom-mccall-message-visitors/

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Response to fredamae (Reply #41)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 05:56 PM

45. fredmae, Tom McCall is one of my all-time heroes

So good to hear from another of this great man's supporters. I worked for a state agency in Salem, near the State Capitol, when he passed away and visited the rotunda where he lay in state. I'm not afraid to say, I stood there and wept. There will never be another like him. Not long ago, I visited his family ranch near where I live, and he is buried in a cemetery about a mile away from me. I bristle when I hear anyone disparage him for his "visit but don't stay" statement, especially some I've encountered who swear there's a sign at the border with those words. There is, in fact, no such sign, but the one at the I-5 border with California does say, "Welcome to Oregon. Enjoy your visit." I happened to be at that very spot the day the sign was installed, and Tom was there to participate in the event. What a privilege it was to see him and hear his powerful words. Tom said, not long before he passed away, probably often throughout the years, that he loved Oregon more than life itself. You know all this, I'm sure, from the Oregon Experience program (which I too have watched), but as I said, it's a joy to hear from another fan of this amazing man, indeed one of our greatest governors. What a blessing he was and continues to be as his legacy lives on.

Cheers and blessings.

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Response to classof56 (Reply #45)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 07:10 PM

48. Twas through Gov McCalls

words and visions for our state-I too learned to "see Oregon" through his eyes...and grew to love it in the same way he did. I envy your experiences with him. He loved his whiskey, eh?
]He Epitomized what "being Oregonian" means.
I agree, there will never be another like him. He is the Best we ever had and indeed a hard act to follow..as we have witnessed over the years.

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Response to fredamae (Reply #48)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 10:35 PM

49. Absolutely!

One of the governors during whose administration I worked was Neil Goldschmidt. How I longed for Tom! And yes, he did love his whiskey.

Best!

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Response to fredamae (Reply #41)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 06:00 PM

46. fredamae, I just realized I spelled your name wrong in my reply.

Gulp! Apologies!

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Response to classof56 (Reply #46)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 07:04 PM

47. Oh...please! No worries! :) n/t

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Response to pangaia (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 11:42 AM

15. "iffy"...depends.

Douglas Co...reaches all the way to the coast from inland and is quite red.....Coastal Curry and Coos are real conservative and "iffy" as well. Clatsop & Tillamook "getting better"-but still conservative. Lincoln, Lane mostly blue, Marion, Polk, Clatsop, Washington pretty red....mostly the metro-counties are the largest progressive concentrations. Benton Co Blue....while Linn is most red....Jackson, Josephine, Lake counties are red....I am going off memory here...I may have missed a few and this evaluation is purely from my own vantage point.

Bottom line-depends on where you are....and the issue of the day

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Response to fredamae (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 07:21 PM

22. Jackson County is getting more purplish as it grows in population

President Obama won the county in 2008, but unfortunately lost it in 2012 (not that it mattered much).

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #22)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 08:36 PM

24. Jackson Co? Good to hear! n/t

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Response to fredamae (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 03:39 AM

28. Yep and it was only by like 1,000 votes

I was shocked given I grew up in the area and know what it's like down in that (red) neck of the woods.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 09:05 AM

32. I am familiar....

My parents/grandparents settled just north in the waaaaay back times.....Coos/Douglas/Curry - not too much different than Medford/Jackson Co.

Oregon is truly amazing-the beauty..hell, you can beachcomb in the morning and be on the ski lift by noon and in the desert by bedtime.

To see So. Oregon shifting slightly is heart warming.




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Response to fredamae (Reply #32)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 09:30 PM

37. It's a slow shift though

Really only Jackson County at this point. Josephine County really could fall off the face of the earth and I wouldn't care.

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Response to fredamae (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 07:52 PM

35. Oregon hasn't really changed much.

It's always been a divided state; blue on the west side of the Cascades, where most of the population lives, and red east of the mountains.

If anything, the communities at the eastern foot of the mountains have grown more progressive; that county did help elect Obama in '08.

The further east you go, the more hard core red/libertarian it gets. It's been that way as long as I can remember.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #35)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 08:20 PM

36. I have toured EO a couple times

I knew it was very conservative/red...They keep electing Greg Walden..however I did underestimate just how conservative/Libertarian leaning they are.
I also get the feeling these yahoos aren't too welcome there for the most part. I - at this point - do not judge the locals - the Hammonds were going to peacefully surrender to fulfill their re-sentencing-I understand.

I admit, I have spent most of my life on the west side of the hill...get me too far east of Bend and I really am not familiar. It's beautiful but I have not been over there much at all over my lifetime.

Deschutes Co/Central Or seems to be getting more moderate according to friends there.

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Response to fredamae (Reply #36)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 09:58 PM

38. Yes.

I'm in Deschutes County. It IS more moderate than it was a couple of decades ago, anyway. The further east you go, though...

The Bundys are not Oregonians. They've come in from out of state.

"We are using the wildlife refuge as a place for individuals across the United States to come and assist in helping the people of Harney County claim back their lands and resources," Ammon Bundy, acting spokesman for the militia, announced in his rallying cry. Militia members claimed they had as many as 100 supporters with them but journalists on the scene say that number is overblown and in fact there are merely some 6-12 members of the so-called patriot group.


The Hammonds, the family with the legal issue, have rejected this action.

Meanwhile, the Hammonds, through their family lawyer, have explicitly stated that they do not want to be affiliated with Bundy and his ragtag militia.

"Neither Ammon Bundy nor anyone within his group/organization speak for the Hammond Family," W. Alan Schroeder, the familyís lawyer wrote to Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward.


http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/01/03/who-the-hell-is-ammon-bundy-the-oregon-militia-ringleader.html

What the rest of the locals think? I don't know about them. I do know that I'm not pleased with some right wing militia wackos deciding to converge on my state to stir up their drama.

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Response to fredamae (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 09:02 AM

43. you guys just have the rural sides of the state like WA state and every other state has. the closer

 

you get to big cities the more progressive people become. That Republicans are winning state elections gives me the idea you guys have a state senate that is gerrymandering voter districts toward republican and away from majority.

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Response to elmac (Original post)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 09:51 AM

4. The old adage - give em' an inch, they'll take a mile

That Bundy crap should have been settled. The wacko's success there just emboldened them and eventually there will be blood.

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Response to packman (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 11:06 AM

12. Another adage:

Last edited Sat Jan 2, 2016, 11:44 AM - Edit history (1)

"The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."
The government could ease up on sending a 74 year old man to prison. He was convicted, and served the time to which he was sentenced. If there is a problem, it's between the two judges. This kind of crap just pisses people off. It's why the militia movement has act traction at all.

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Response to christx30 (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 10:26 PM

39. Sounds like his family isn't the ones with the problem though, and what about the forest they

 

want to deregulate?

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Response to elmac (Original post)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 10:03 AM

5. They're not really like the Bundys

They did serve time, they did pay for grazing fees, and the fires were set for what sound like legitimate ranching reasons. I'm not sure I see the point of sending this family back to prison. Isn't that like double jeopardy, when they were already convicted and did their time?

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Response to mainer (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 11:00 AM

11. That's how I read it.

On the surface is does sound like govt over reach. I don't think 5 years in prison is the right punishment if this was an accidental fire. Seems like they have already payed their debt.

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Response to tazkcmo (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 11:45 AM

16. my mom's family is from Lakeview and ranched. I like eastern oregon. Its imcomparably beautiful.

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Response to tazkcmo (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 09:25 AM

44. This isn't an arson conviction

 

It's a terrorism case. These people are right wing terrorists, five years isn't long enough.

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Response to mainer (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 03:14 AM

27. That may be so, but the buddy's son have decided to make it his problem by taking over the federal

building

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Response to mainer (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 08:05 AM

31. I think there was an appeal and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Held that the trial court applied the minimum mandatory sentencing law incorrectly. So more time got tacked on to their sentence.

Not sure these ranchers or the townsfolk approve of the militia three ring circus.

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Response to elmac (Original post)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 10:13 AM

7. They charged them under anti-terrorism laws?

Why?

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Response to Democat (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 10:26 AM

8. I don't understand the terrorism charge either

There doesn't seem to be any purpose to sending these people back to jail after they had been released. I would bet these guys aren't happy about being the focus of the militia movement.

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Response to Democat (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 10:58 AM

9. They were charged with ARSON, NOT Terrorism

Bundy is full of crap and the media just simply reported what he said without verifying it. The Bundys are just trying to stir crap and the locals actually don't want them there.

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Response to elmac (Original post)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 10:59 AM

10. The Range Wars enter a new phase

 

Lovely.

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Response to elmac (Original post)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 03:37 PM

20. We send too many people to prison

 

It's good that people are getting fed up with it.

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Response to elmac (Original post)

Sat Jan 2, 2016, 04:25 PM

21. From a Portland City Gal

I live in Portland but vacation and travel east a lot for the beauty and big wide open spaces and sun. I read that townsfolk in Burns held a meeting yesterday to hear from militia types and chill them down a little. My family is from Baker City and the town meeting in Burns sounds like all the nice and reasonable people in Burns smoothed things out by sitting and talking face to face instead of allowing wild rumors and fears to rule and journalistic sensationalism. At heart they are good, downhome people. They had a meeting and they knew what to do to get a better result. Kudos to the good people of Burns.

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Response to elmac (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 03:42 AM

29. Some background info about this issue...

Irregular militia followers claim to be supporting the prison-bound Hammonds-

They began to filter into Burns, Oregon about a week ago. Participants in what was to become a protest parade through Burns and later seizure of a national wildlife refuge headquarters, numbered from about 150 to 300, according to several reports and statements on Saturday. The week ended Saturday with the seizure of the Malheur National Wildlife Refugeís headquarters by a number of the more militant.

The event galvanizing the self-styled militia members and supporters is the scheduled return to prison on Jan. 4 of ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond. They were convicted several years ago of setting arson fires on U.S. public land. The Hammonds have already served the sentences ordered by a federal judge, but the sentences themselves were later determined to be illegally short. U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan had given them the light prison sentences. Judge Hogan said that mandatory minimum five-year sentences were ďgrossly disproportionate. Hogan wrote this as he was about to retire.

Prosecutors appealed the sentence, and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the appeal. ďA minimum sentence mandated by the statute is not a suggestion that courts have discretion to disregard.Ē So wrote appellate judge Judge Stephen J. Murphy II about the minimum sentence prescribed by the law the Hammonds were convicted by a jury of violating. The Hammonds report to prison in California on Jan. 4, 2016. So far they have not called for support from the militants and seem ready to report to prison.




http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2016/01/03/left-over-cliven-bundy-militants-appear-in-burns-or-occupy-malheur-wildlife-refuge-headquarters/

Links to several older articles about this at link above.

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Response to elmac (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 06:34 PM

34. Statement from the Harney County Sherriff's office:

(emphasis mine)

On January 2, 2015 in Harney County, Oregon a group of men and women seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters located in Harney County, Oregon. The refuge headquarters was empty at the time of the seizure due to it being the weekend.

These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers, when in reality these men had alternative motives to attempt to over throw the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States.

We are currently working jointly with several organizations to make sure the citizens of Harney County are safe and this issue is resolved as quickly and peaceful as possible. At this time we do not have any information that any other areas in Harney County are in immediate danger.

We ask that people stay away from the refuge for their safety. We also ask that if anyone sees any of these individuals in the area to please contact law enforcement and do not confront the individuals themselves.

We are currently working to establish 1-800 phone lines for people to call if they have questions. More information will be provided as it is available.


David M. Ward, Sheriff


http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2016-01/1002/90811/Harney_County.doc

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Response to Qutzupalotl (Reply #34)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 10:29 PM

40. +10000

 

And their leader is living up to this article in his quotes.

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