- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Federal authorities say it cost more than $100,000 to repair two trenches and a road dug during the occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon last winter.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported (http://bit.ly/2k2Cxwx ) Wednesday that Jake Ryan and Duane Ehmer are charged with depredation of government property for digging the trenches on part of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that’s considered an archaeological site.

The FBI hired an expert to assess the area after the 41-day occupation to determine whether the damage violated the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

Attorneys for Ryan and Ehmer say the pair hasn’t been charged with violating the federal act because they didn’t know the site had any archaeological significance. They’ve asked the court to prevent prosecutors from mentioning the repair costs to jurors during next month’s trial.

Prosecutors argue the repair costs are relevant to support the charges.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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