- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Occupation leader Ammon Bundy had a message Wednesday for those still holed up at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon: “Please stand down.”

“Please stand down. Go home and hug your families. This fight is ours for now in the courts,” said attorney Mike Arnold, who read the message on behalf of Mr. Bundy after a court hearing, as shown on KOIN-TV.

Mr. Bundy, 40, was arraigned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland along with six others arrested in connection with their takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which they characterized as a protest against the federal government.

A federal magistrate ordered them to remain jail until a detention hearing Friday, describing them as flight risks and dangers to the community with no ties to the area, according to KOIN-TV.

An eighth occupier, Jon Eric Ritzheimer, 32, turned himself in late Tuesday to authorities in Peoria, Arizona, and appeared Wednesday in federal court in Phoenix.

The eight have been charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats, which carries a maximum six-year prison sentence.

SEE ALSO: Oregon: 1 dead, Bundy brothers arrested as standoff ends with gunfire

A federal complaint unsealed in court Wednesday said that the group had amassed weapons, night-vision goggles and explosives, according to a source, and that “if they didn’t get the fight they wanted out there, they would bring the fight to town.”

The militants, led by brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy of the Nevada ranching family, were driving to a community meeting Tuesday in Burns, Oregon, when they were pulled over by the FBI and Oregon State Police. One man died in the clash, while Ryan Bundy, 43, suffered a minor gunshot wound.

Five occupiers were arrested during the Tuesday stop, which left one man dead. The FBI has not released the name of the man killed in the highway confrontation, but multiple sources have identified him as Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, 55, of Canes Bed, Arizona.

Two others were arrested separately in Burns, while as many as a dozen protesters remain at the refuge headquarters building.

The group took over the unoccupied building Jan. 2 after a rally and demanded the release of two ranchers serving five-year prison terms for arson, as well as the transfer of federal lands in Harney County to local authorities.

In addition to the Bundy brothers, the others arraigned Wednesday were Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada; Shawna J. Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah; Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, 45, of Cottonwood, Arizona; Ryan W. Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Montana; and Peter Santilli, 50, of Cincinnati, Ohio.

SEE ALSO: Cliven Bundy: Oregon standoff a ‘wake up call’; dead occupier was ‘sacrificed for a good purpose’

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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