Bunkerville protester testifies in his own defense at Las Vegas trial

Idaho gun enthusiast Eric Parker banked on his commitment to self-defense Thursday when he stepped to the witness stand and tried to convince jurors he played no role in a conspiracy to bully federal agents into abandoning their roundup of hundreds of rancher Cliven Bundy’s cows.

“I didn’t care about the cows,” said Parker, 33, who is one of six people charged as “gunmen” in the 2014 armed standoff in Bunkerville. During the standoff, Parker was photographed pointing a long gun through a jersey barrier on the Interstate 15 overpass that overlooked the sandy ditch where protesters were face-to-face with federal agents.

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Government done calling witnesses in Bunkerville standoff trial

Federal investigators posed as documentary filmmakers in order to draw statements from some of the protesters as they were building their case.

Testimony at the trial revealed that one of the men, defendant Gregory Burleson, was a paid FBI informant from 2012 until an undisclosed date. What sort of information he provided was not disclosed, but he was known to be an active member of Arizona militia groups.

The men are standing trial on charges of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, aiding and abetting, interference with interstate commerce by extortion, and other counts.

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Bundy defendants interviewed in undercover FBI operation

Undercover FBI agents posed as documentary filmmakers for a production titled “America Reloaded” to draw statements from the men who rushed to support rancher Cliven Bundy in his 2014 stand against the federal government.

The undercover operation has been alluded to in previous court filings, but it was detailed in federal court Wednesday when FBI Special Agent Charles Johnson testified as a government witness in the trial against six men accused of conspiring to block Bureau of Land Management agents from impounding Bundy’s cattle.

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Nevada Highway Patrol sergeant testifies in Bundy trial

A Nevada Highway Patrol sergeant who responded to the 2014 protests in Bunkerville testified Monday that he was “jealous” of one of Cliven Bundy’s supporters because the man carried a radio that broadcast police scanner activity better than a state-issued device.

“Our radios weren’t that clear. I was kind of jealous because his was better than ours,” Sgt. Shannon Selena told jurors Monday.

He was referring to Gregory Burleson, one of six men in the first group of a three-part federal trial against Bundy and 16 others accused of conspiring to block federal agents from rounding up the rancher’s cows. The jury seated for the first trial has heard hours of testimony about law enforcement’s assessment of the general threat level during the April 2014 standoff, but Monday marked the first time a government witness singled out a defendant for his role in the protests.

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Documentarian Dennis Michael Lynch testifies during Bunkerville standoff trial

A media cameraman who tried, unsuccessfully, to mediate the Bunkerville standoff gave hours of testimony Wednesday while federal prosecutors played shaky, handheld footage that provided a more dynamic view of the protests than anything previously disclosed on dashcam recordings.

The government called Dennis Michael Lynch as a witness after they fought ferociously earlier in the week to keep the footage he captured out of court.

Defense attorneys Monday had tried to use some of the videos to rebut a federal agent’s testimony, and prosecutors’ decision to call Lynch reflected a strategic attempt to control the narrative as they continue to present their case against six men accused of conspiring with rancher Cliven Bundy.

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Tempers flare, nerves fray in trial against Bundy supporters

A downtown Las Vegas courtroom provided scenes as wild as a Western movie Monday when federal prosecutors and defense attorneys battled over nearly every piece of evidence presented in the trial against six of rancher Cliven Bundy’s supporters.

Defense attorneys tried to block a government witness from testifying. A prosecutor invoked an evidence rule that led even the judge to flip open a legal handbook. A juror made a wisecrack that caused one lawyer to raise concerns of potential bias.

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Bunkerville standoff video captures agent conversations

Prosecutors trying the case against six of rancher Cliven Bundy’s supporters played hours of video footage this week that gave the public a peek into the minds of federal law enforcement officers as the 2014 confrontation with armed protesters unfolded in Bunkerville.

When Bureau of Land Management Agent Mark Brunk testified early in the week, prosecutors played dash cam footage that recorded him uttering an expletive, followed by, “You come find me and you’re gonna have hell to pay.”

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Ryan Bundy asks judge to dismiss his charges in Bunkerville standoff case

Ryan Bundy, who previously accused federal authorities of violating the Constitution when they seized his father’s cattle, now claims he has been denied his right to a speedy trial.

In a motion filed late Wednesday, Bundy asks a federal judge to dismiss his 16-count indictment on threats, extortion and related charges stemming from the 2014 armed standoff near his family ranch in Bunkerville. Prosecutors are trying the first of three groups of people charged in the case, and Bundy is in the second trial group.

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Judge dismisses juror for nodding off during Bunkerville standoff trial

A federal judge Thursday dismissed one of the jurors seated for the trial against six men accused of conspiring with rancher Cliven Bundy.

The woman, identified only as “juror 12,” was dismissed late Thursday after U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro noticed her falling asleep on several occasions during testimony. The jury includes four alternates, so the case will not be affected by the juror’s dismissal.

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Court rules Hage family must pay $587K for grazing cattle on federal land in Nevada

CARSON CITY — A U.S. District Court judge has ordered a Nevada ranching family engaged in a long-running dispute with federal agencies to pay $587,000 for grazing cattle on BLM and Forest Service lands without permission.

The order dated Feb. 27 from Gloria Navarro, chief judge of the Las Vegas District Court, also requires the son of the late Wayne Hage to remove any livestock from federal lands within 30 days. Within 45 days the Hage has to file a statement of compliance with the order or face contempt of court.

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BLM ranger testifies that he turned off body cam as Bunkerville standoff escalated

As the 2014 standoff in Bunkerville escalated and authorities started to fear a gunfight, Bureau of Land Management Ranger Patrick Apley turned off his body camera.

“I was mad,” Apley testified Tuesday in the trial against six men accused of conspiring with rancher Cliven Bundy to block federal authorities from seizing cattle. “I felt like we were going to be in a firefight, and I really didn’t want to record that.”

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First trial in Bunkerville standoff case presents paradox

By JENNY WILSON LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL Cliven Bundy’s armed stand against the federal government has landed him in a prison cell, but some of the rancher’s positions on public lands could be enacted into federal law in the new political […]

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Letter names BLM agent in charge of Bundy case as target of federal ethics probe

Bureau of Land Management agent Dan Love, a central figure in the government’s case against rancher Cliven Bundy, has been identified as the target of a federal ethics probe in a letter two congressional lawmakers sent to the Office of the Inspector General.

The Feb. 14 letter, sent by U.S. Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, accuses Love of scrubbing emails, influencing witnesses and deleting hundreds of documents the day before a congressional investigative committee issued a records request. Chaffetz and Farenthold sit on the U.S. House Committee for Oversight and Government Reform.

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Las Vegas jury views video of April 2014 rally led by Cliven Bundy

In response to news that federal agents decided to stop rounding up his cattle, rancher Cliven Bundy grabbed a microphone and delivered an ultimatum to the local sheriff.

“Disarm the park service,” he bellowed at a morning rally on April 12, 2014, after Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie announced that the Bureau of Land Management would cease a cattle impoundment operation that resulted from decades of unpaid grazing fees.

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Here’s what Ryan Bundy told a BLM agent before the Bunkerville standoff in 2014

The trial against six men accused of conspiring with rancher Cliven Bundy to block federal agents from carrying out a court order to impound his cattle is underway in federal court in Las Vegas, and prosecutors on Tuesday played recorded phone conversations between a Bureau of Land Management agent and one of Bundy’s sons.

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Jury seated for first trial in Bunkerville standoff case

Opening statements are scheduled for Thursday in the conspiracy trial against six men accused of participating in an armed standoff against federal law enforcement agents who tried to impound rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle.

Prosecutors characterize the six men as the “least culpable” among 17 co-conspirators facing trial on extortion, assault and other charges resulting from the 2014 confrontation between anti-government protesters and Bureau of Land Management agents near Bundy’s ranch in Bunkerville.

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First trial in Bunkerville standoff case opens in Las Vegas

Constitutional issues took center stage Monday when the first trial in the case against rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters opened with jury selection in Las Vegas.

U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro on Monday began the lengthy process of whittling down a jury pool of several hundred people to a panel of 14 — including two alternates — who will be seated for the trial against six people charged as “gunmen” in the 2014 armed standoff in Bunkerville. The standoff occurred when Bundy led a mass protest against federal agents who were acting on a court order to impound his cattle.

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BLM schedules public forum about Gold Butte National Monument

The Bureau of Land Management will host a two-hour public forum Thursday in Mesquite to answer questions and quell rumors about the new Gold Butte National Monument.

Representatives from Clark County, the City of Mesquite and the Virgin Valley Water District will attend the 5 p.m. meeting at Mesquite City Hall, 10 E. Mesquite Blvd.

BLM officials will make a short presentation and then take questions from the audience.

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First of 3 trials in Bunkerville standoff case starts Monday in Las Vegas

Gunfire wasn’t exchanged during an armed confrontation in Bunkerville three years ago, but the opposing sides will finally head to battle this week when the first trial opens in the case against rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters.

The case pits the federal government against a group of men who view its agents as foreign invaders on their land, and the venue change, from open range to federal court, has done little to civilize that hostile dynamic. The clashes are expected to be just as fiery in the confines of a courtroom as they were on the sandy banks of Toquop Wash, where in April 2014 Bundy and his supporters were engaged in a dramatic standoff against Bureau of Land management agents who tried to round up the rancher’s cattle.

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