The arrested militiamen of the Oregon refuge occupation have had extensive previous run-ins with the law – and a history of anti-government protests that federal officials are now using against them in court.
In recent filings in federal court in Portland, prosecutors have detailed the criminal histories of the 11 people facing felony charges for their involvement in the armed occupation of the Malheur national wildlife refuge, which began 2 January and continues to drag on this week with no end in sight.
The men’s rap sheets include cases of domestic violence, illegal firearm possession, terrorist threats, resisting arrest and drug crimes, according to the court records.
Last Tuesday, militia leader Ammon Bundy was arrested on a remote highway in rural Harney County, occupation spokesperson LaVoy Finicum was shot and killed by police and a number of high-profile participants in the rightwing standoff were taken into custody.
The protesters, who say they seized government buildings to protest federal regulations of public lands, now face charges of impeding federal officers from discharging official duties, which could carry prison sentences of up to six years.