Trials

Bundy Ranch trials: 2 convicted, mistrial declared for 4 others

Two men have been found guilty in the first trial stemming from the Cliven Bundy Nevada ranch standoff.

Two men have been found guilty in the first trial stemming from the Cliven Bundy Nevada ranch standoff.  (Reuters)

Two men were found guilty of federal charges on Monday in connection to the 2014 standoff between family and supporters of Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch and federal agents who were attempting to round up cattle near the location.

Jurors were deadlocked on charges against four other men in the first of three federal trials surrounding the case. Bundy and two of his sons are set to stand trial this summer.

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Gregory Burleson was found guilty on eight charges, including threatening and assaulting a federal officer, while Todd Engel was found guilty on an obstruction count and for traveling across state lines in aid of extortion.

The judge in Las Vegas declared a mistrial for four other men: Richard Lovelien, Scott Drexler, Eric Parker and Steven Stewart. A new trial for those four is now set to begin on June 26, the same day Bundy is scheduled for his day in court.

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The court developments stem from a standoff between Bundy, his eldest sons and supporters and the federal agents who were attempting to enforce court orders to remove Bundy’s cattle off public lands. That move came in lieu of Bundy’s failure to pay grazing fees.

The six men on trial all answered a Bundy family call-to-arms at the time of the incident, establishing themselves as co-conspirators in a plan to commit a federal offense and to injure or impede federal officers, according to prosecutors.

The family has become associated with the battle over government-owned land. In 2016, the sons were accused of leading a 41-day armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon. While they were acquitted of all charges in that case, they’ve remained imprisoned to face trial for the previous standoff near their father’s ranch.

Bundy, his oldest sons Ammon and Ryan and two additional people who prosecutors have described as leaders of the movement will move ahead to their June court date.

A third trial for six other people involved in the standoff will occur in the fall.