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More Charges Filed in Oregon Occupation

by Phil Helsel /

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More than two dozen people charged in the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge have been indicted by a grand jury, according to court documents released Wednesday.

The top count against 26 people, conspiracy to impede officers of the United States, is the same already levied against alleged occupation leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy and others.

But the superseding indictment returned Tuesday also charges Ryan Bundy and another man, Jason Ritzheimer, with taking over government cameras and other equipment during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns in January.

Related: Fed Go After Bundys, Alleging '20 Years of Law Breaking'

The indictment also charges Sean Anderson and another person with depredation of government property for allegedly using heavy equipment on “an archaeological site considered sacred to the Burns Paiute Tribe,” damaging the site. The identity of the second person is redacted in the indictment.

Anderson is among four holdouts who kept up the occupation on the refuge for more than two weeks after the Bundys and other alleged leaders were arrested on Jan. 26. The last holdouts surrendered on Feb. 11.

The group occupied the wildlife refuge on Jan. 2 as part of a protest over prison sentences for two local ranchers, and against federal control over public lands.

Ammon and Ryan Bundy and two others arrested in the Oregon occupation also face charges in Nevada stemming from the 2014 armed standoff with federal officials on the Bundy ranch, which occurred after federal agents tried to seize cattle owned by the Bundys' father, Cliven Bundy.

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