PORTLAND, Ore. -- An indictment unsealed Thursday morning shows that Ammon Bundy and his followers were indicted by a federal grand jury for Conspiracy to Impede Officers of the United States.
The indictment stems from the siege of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by the group.
In a news conference Thursday in Eugene, Ore., one of Bundy’s attorneys, Lissa Casey, played a statement from Bundy that he made by phone from the Multnomah County Jail after he learned he was indicted.
“This is what you get when government officials ignore the people. We exhausted all prudent measures to get government officials to investigate the abuses to the Hammond family,” said Bundy.
Bundy went on to say the refuge takeover was a necessary action.
“The result of government officials ignoring the people are acts like the takeover of the Malheur refuge.”
In a departure from his recent calls for the remaining protesters at the refuge to leave, Bundy said it was time for law enforcement to leave the area.
“Go home Oregon State Police. You have already killed enough. Go home FBI. It is time to end this,” Bundy said.
Bundy, through his attorney, also thanked more than 230 people who donated money to his cause through a crowdfunding website.
Charged in the indictment were Ammon Bundy, Jon Ritzheimer, Joseph O'Shaughnessy, Ryan Payne, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox, Peter Santilli, Jason Patrick, Duane Leo Ehmer, Dylan Anderson, Sean Anderson, David Lee Fry, Jeff Wayne Banta, Sandra Lynn Pfeifer Anderson and Kenneth Medenbach.
The last four listed are the four holdouts who remain on the refuge.
"Beginning on Jan. 2, 2016, defendants and conspirators brandished and carried firearms on the premises of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and prevented federal officials from performing their official duties by force, threats and intimidation," the indictment reads.
The indictment was sealed Wednesday afternoon, but made public Thursday morning.
Defense attorneys demanded that prosecutors immediately release the document, so they could know what charges their clients face. U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart denied the request.
The indictment scrapped preliminary hearings scheduled Wednesday for 10 of the defendants.
Most of them are behind bars, but two have been released to their homes.
Timeline: Armed occupation at Oregon refuge
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