Cliven Bundy Indicted, Denied Bail, Will Face Trial In Nevada, Meanwhile BLM Stumped On What To Do With His Cows

Earlier this month, according to a report from Nano News, the FBI arrested rancher-turned-radical Cliven Bundy in Portland, Oregon.

As PBS reports, he was promptly indicted by a Federal grand jury in Nevada in 16 separate federal felonies for his armed standoff in 2014, including multiple charges of harming, threatening, and planning to harm federal officers, and multiple extortion charges.

The judge at his local detention hearing in Oregon unsurprisingly denied Bundy bail -- this is a man who faced down federal officers for over a month -- and indicated that he would be extradited to Nevada to face charges.

Bundy was arrested upon arrival at Portland International Airport, on his way to rally support for his sons in their own armed occupation.

Cliven Bundy's mugshot from his Portland, Oregon arrest.
Cliven Bundy's mugshot from his Portland, Oregon arrest. [Photo by Multnomah County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images]The federal indictment covers five individuals: Cliven D. Bundy, 69, of Bunkerville, Nevada, Ryan C. Bundy, 43, of Mesquite, Nevada, Ammon E. Bundy, 40, of Emmet, Idaho, Ryan W. Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Montana, and Peter T. Santilli, Jr., 50, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and all are currently being held in Oregon. Cliven's sons, Ryan and Ammon Bundy, Ryan Payne, and conservative radio show host Peter Santilli, are simultaneously facing charges related to the 2016 Oregon standoff, in which they staged an armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon.

In total, the charges are:

  • One count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States
  • One count of conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer
  • Four counts of using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence
  • Two counts of assault on a federal officer
  • Two counts of threatening a federal law enforcement officer
  • Three counts of obstruction of the due administration of justice
  • Two counts of interference with interstate commerce by extortion
  • One count of interstate travel in aid of extortion
If convicted, the defendants could be forced to forfeit property gained as a result of their alleged crimes, totaling at least $3 million, according to federal prosecutors, as well as firearms and ammunition used in the standoffs. Each charge also carries a penalty of five- to 20-years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000. If convicted of all charges, each man will face a penalty of $4 million and between 80 and 320 years in prison.

It's safe to say that, if convicted, none of these men is likely to ever see the outside of a federal prison again, and that's just the charges for the 2014 standoff.

But what about the cows?

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Land Management still has a big problem on their hands: namely, the herd of cows that started all of this.

While Cliven Bundy is held pending his trial, according to E&E News, his herd of roughly 1,000 head of cattle are still roaming the Mojave Desert, leaving destruction in their wake, trampling sensitive soils, devouring native vegetation, and damaging archaeological artifacts, not to mention trampling a community garden and a golf course, and even assaulting a Nevada wildlife official.

Bundy's cows, a special breed from India bred to survive harsh conditions, have been illegally grazing on public land since 1993, seriously damaging the local environment.
Bundy's cows, a special breed from India bred to survive harsh conditions, have been illegally grazing on public land since 1993, seriously damaging the local environment. [Photo by David Becker/Getty Images]And while the BLM, following court orders, desperately wants those cattle gone, they have no idea how they're going to do it, according to Ken Mayer, former director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
"It's like hunting cape buffalo. They're nasty, they're smart, and they won't hesitate to charge."
On top of the sheer logistics involved, the last time the BLM attempted to round up Bundy's cows, over 400 armed individuals showed up to stop them, including various "militias" such as The Oathkeepers, Praetorian Guard, and White Mountain Militia.

Meanwhile, all the BLM can do is "continue to cooperate with the Department of Justice on the on-going legal matter," and watch Bundy's cattle trample the region. Most contractors refuse to even consider the contract to help round up Bundy's herd, given the very real dangers of being shot or gored, not to mention that Bundy actively sent threats to the last contractor to consider it, in 2012.

"I will serve you and yours and company a constructive notice making you and anyone aiding or abetting with you accountable for all loss, damages, or expenses to my life, liberty, and property. RANGE WAR!"
[Photo by George Frey/Getty Images]