The federal government lost again and supporters of Ammon Bundy won again. The effort to put these men in jail has been a complete failure. Over and over in court, juries have said they are not guilty.
In 2014, the Bundy brothers and supporters took over a small government outpost to protest the Obama efforts to turn millions of acres of state lands into federal property. They were also protesting the hikes in grazing fees imposed by the feds.
They saw it as an occupier type protest. After 41 days, the feds arrested many of them on a series of charges. One of their members was shot to death.
The Los Angeles Times reported that a jury acquitted two of the four men, Ricky Lovelien and Steven Stewart on all ten charges against them. Two other defendants, Scott Drexler and Eric Parker were found not guilty on most charges, with no verdict on several charges against the two men.
Whether the feds will retry them is unknown at this time.
The government keeps trying to prosecute Cliven Bundy, his family and supporters because they are a symbol of what some believe is federal government overreach in controlling public lands, the LA Times reported.
This was the second trial on the same case for these men. It only took the jury four days to reach the verdicts.
Mr. Drexler’s lawyer, Todd Leventhal, said his client was happy with the result and plans to move back to Idaho to live with relatives. Leventhal brought up the extremely unfair treatment his client received.
“We weren’t allowed to bring in any witnesses during the trial,” Leventhal said on Tuesday. “Now we have to wait and see what the government will do and if they plan to retry my client.”
The feds first barred Bundy’s cattle from the federal lands for not paying what they believed were outrageous fees and broadening restrictions. The feds came onto his land with Ak’s and in full body armor, watching them from behind berms. They threatened to kill his cattle. The Feds eventually relented.
Will the Feds continue to try to jail these cowboys? Probably. When does it become malicious prosecution?
Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Occupiers can all run around occupying, hurting people, threatening, but cowboys occupying gets the full force of law.
The cowboy occupiers – and we don’t condone any occupations – were charged as domestic terrorists as if they were ISIS, but the cowboys saw themselves as protesters.