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July 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: wildlife refuge

Holdouts at Wildlife Refuge: Only Contact with Outside World is FBI-Provided Phone

Burns, Oregon

Burns, Oregon

By Steve Neavling

The four remaining armed militants occupying a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon said their only contact to the outside world is an FBI-provided cell phone, The Oregonian reports. 

The holdouts have declined to surrender, even after five militants were arrested and another killed in a clash with law enforcement.

“One of the FBI guys put a cellphone, one of the FBI cellphones, in a car up here that I picked up,” David Fry, 27, said. “They’re going to cut off all our personal cellphones soon.”

Law enforcement officials declined to discuss whether FBI-provided phones were the only way for occupiers to reach the outside world.

“The FBI’s investigation is ongoing so it would not be appropriate to provide details at this time,” a written statement from the Joint Information Center said. “We cannot comment regarding any operations about the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Family of Armed Militant Fatally Shot by Officers Outside Wildlife Refuge Claim Coverup

Burns, Oregon

Burns, Oregon

By Steve Neavling

The family of the man fatally shot by law enforcement officers after participating in the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon is claiming that the shooting was “unjustified” and the circumstances of his death are being covered up.

Reuters reports that relatives of Robert “LeVoy” Finicium issued a statement that claims the FBI and Oregon state police were “seeking to manipulate and mislead the media and the American public about what really happened.”

The FBI declined to comment on the claims but pointed to the aerial video of Tuesday’s shooting, which they have contended shows Finicium reaching for a gun in his coat pocket .

The family is demanding the release of any video footage recorded by police body cameras or dashboard cameras, as well as any audio recordings.

Militants: FBI Locked Down Phones, Internet at Federal Wildlife Refuge in Oregon

Burns, Oregon

Burns, Oregon

By Steve Neavling

With four militants left occupying a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, the FBI appears to have locked down their ability to make or receive calls, the Portland Tribune reports. 

The news came as the occupation entered its 30th day.

David Fry, one of the occupiers, said they also have lost access to the Internet.

The militants said they’ve been using a generator and aren’t inside any of the buildings because the FBI may also have cut power to the buildings.

The FBI also has blocked the media’s access to the refuge.

Last week, five militants were arrested and one was shot and killed during a clash with police during a traffic stop.

Click here to see the full video of the confrontation.

FBI Releases Full Video of Shooting Death of Oregon Protester

By Steve Neavling

The FBI released a video of the fatal shooting of one of the armed protesters who took over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon.

Robert “LaVoy Finicum, 56, was killed during a clash with police during a traffic stop that led to the arrest of five others.

“I want to caution you that the video does show the shooting death of LaVoy Finicum,” said Greg Bretzing, the special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Portland. “We realize that viewing that piece of the video will be upsetting to some people, but we feel that it is necessary to show the whole thing unedited in the interest of transparency.”

Some protesters remain at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

One Shot Dead As Authorities Arrest Leaders of Oregon Standoff

By Steve Neavling

The leaders of the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon were arrested, and the de facto spokesman was killed during a dramatic clash with local and federal authorities Tuesday night.

Eight other anti-government activists were arrested or turned themselves in, and another participant was injured, the Washington Post reports. 

Some occupants remained in the refuge after the confrontation with authorities, who had hoped to end a three-week standoff.

A few people voluntarily left after police surrounded the occupiers.

There were no reports of injuries to law enforcement.

Tensions Mount As Militia Paves Roads, Removes Surveillance at Oregon Wildlife Refuge

Burns, Oregon

Burns, Oregon

By Steve Neavling

Tensions continued as the militia group that took over an Oregon wildlife refuge paved new roads and removed fences and security cameras.

Armed militia members scaled ladders Friday to remove cameras, which they referred to as a symbol of “mass surveillance,” militia spokesman LaVoy Finicum said during a news briefing, the New York Daily News reports. 

Now the Burns Paiute Tribe is afraid that the militia may have destroyed artifacts and desecrated ancient burial grounds.

The headquarters near Burns, Oregon, contains thousands of relics.

“We have no idea whether the militants have disturbed the Tribe’s artifacts or gained access to otherwise confidential information,” wrote tribe chairperson Charlotte Rodrique in a letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regional director Robyn Thorson.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Takes Control of Federal Building Takeover in Oregon, Urges for Peaceful Resolution

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has taken over the investigation into the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon and has pledged to work with state and local authorities for “a peaceful solution to the situation,” The Washington Post reports. 

How the FBI will reach that resolution is unclear because federal authorities have declined to elaborate.

The occupiers also said Monday that they are confident that law enforcement won’t try to forcibly remove them from the refuge.

The protesters were rallying against the arson conviction of two local ranchers, Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven, who reported to federal prison Monday.

“Due to safety considerations for both those inside the refuge as well as the law enforcement officers involved, we will not be releasing any specifics with regards to the law enforcement response,” the FBI said in a statement.