Last holdout in Oregon occupation surrenders, ending standoff

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BURNS, Ore. -The last occupier of the Oregon wildlife refuge said he turned himself in to authorities a couple of hours after three others walked out.

The surrender played out over a phone call on an open line streamed live on the Internet by an acquaintance of occupier David Fry. Fry, who shouted and rambled, had delayed leaving Malheur National Wildlife Refuge after he said the other three surrendered.

“I’m walking toward them (FBI agents) right now,” Fry said during the call with his acquaintance and a Nevada legislator who drove to the site to help negotiate the group’s exit.

Rep. Judy Boyle, an Idaho state lawmaker, confirms that the four holdouts are in custody.

They were the last remnants of armed group that seized the refuge on Jan. 2 to oppose federal land use policies.

A Facebook page for his ranch announced that Cliven Bundy, who came to the national spotlight in a fight with the federal Bureau of Land Management over grazing rights for his cattle in 2014, was heading to Oregon earlier Wednesday.

“It’s time,” the post said. “Cliven Bundy is headed to the Harney County Resource Center in Burns Oregon.”

Bundy was taken into federal custody in Portland, Oregon, after landing there early Thursday morning, the FBI said.

The same Facebook page posted a statement that Bundy was arrested for charges “related to his standoff with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in 2014.” The post continued, “The charges include a conspiracy charge to interfere with a federal officer … and a weapons charge.”

Cliven Bundy’s son Ammon was one of the leaders of the occupation of the refuge’s headquarters. He was arrested last month.

Ammon Bundy and others started out demonstrating against the sentencing of Dwight Hammond and his son Steven, ranchers who were convicted of arson on federal lands in Oregon.

A January 2 march supporting the Hammonds led to the armed occupation of the refuge building, with protesters decrying what they call government overreach when it comes to federal lands.

Bundy and other members of his group were arrested during an incident along a highway last month.

At the same time, law enforcement officers shot and killed LaVoy Finicum, one of the protest group’s most prominent members.