- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A federal magistrate judge in Las Vegas decided Wednesday that two sons of rancher Cliven Bundy who are accused of leading an armed confrontation with government officers in Nevada should remain in custody pending trial.

Like 17 other co-defendants before them, Ammon Bundy and Ryan Bundy were deemed to be a danger to the community and a risk not to abide by court orders or return for hearing dates.

Both refused last week to enter pleas to conspiracy, obstruction, weapon, threats and assault charges in the April 2014 standoff with federal Bureau of Land Management agents near Bunkerville, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Their father also balked March 10 at entering a plea, in an act of defiance that his lawyer said reflected an unwillingness to recognize federal authority over state lands.

Magistrate judges have entered not-guilty pleas on behalf of defendants who’ve refused.

Magistrate Judge George Foley’s detention ruling on Wednesday came with all 19 defendants and their lawyers gearing up for a Friday hearing to set a schedule ahead of trial. The date could be pushed back from May 2.

Seven of the Nevada defendants - Ammon and Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Blaine Cooper, Joseph O’Shaughnessy, Ryan Payne and Peter Santilli - also face federal trial Sept. 7 in Oregon. They’re among 26 people accused of taking part in the armed occupation of a U.S. wildlife refuge there for 41 days in January and February.

Family matriarch Carol Bundy emerged sad but resolute from the latest of several court hearings she’s attended since Ammon and Ryan Bundy were arrested Jan. 26 near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon and Cliven Bundy was arrested Feb. 10 at Portland International Airport on his way to visit them. Two other sons, David and Mel Bundy, are also in custody.

“It breaks a mother’s heart,” she said. “I raised a good family. We’re nothing like what the government portrays us to be.”

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