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Read the federal charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy

Cliven Bundy in 2014.
Cliven Bundy in 2014.
David Becker/Getty Images
Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who became famous for a standoff with the Bureau of Land Management in 2014, learned Thursday that the federal government has a long reach and a willingness to wait.

Bundy was arrested at the Portland airport on his way to Burns, Oregon, where his sons had led an armed occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. He was charged with six counts related to the 2014 standoff:

  • Assault on a federal law enforcement officer
  • Using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence
  • Obstructing justice
  • Extortion
  • Aiding and abetting
  • Conspiracy

The crux of the complaint, which you can read in full below, deals with the events of April 12, 2014. That day, Bundy and his supporters, many of them armed, faced off near the corral where the Bureau of Land Management had impounded Bundy's cattle. The Bureau of Land Management backed down.

The complaint argues they saw no other way to avoid violence and harm to unarmed supporters:

Here's the full complaint.

Criminal Complaint re Cliven Bundy.pdf by Jon Ralston