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Bundy Ranch occupiers acquitted on all counts after challenging the corrupt Bureau of Land Management

Ammon Bundy

(NaturalNews) In what freedom fighters across the country are calling a stunning victory against a tyrannical government agency, a jury in Oregon has acquitted all seven defendants involved in the armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in January.

Cheers broke out in the Portland, Ore., federal courtroom when the jury announced the acquittals of Ammon Bundy, along with brother Ryan Bundy and five others, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The seven were charged with conspiracy to impede federal workers from their jobs at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which is located about 300 miles southeast of Portland. Also, the jury could not reach a verdict on even one count of theft for Ryan Bundy.

Shocked by the acquittals

The announcement by the jury did not come without additional drama, however. Upon hearing the jury's decision, Marcus Mumford, one of Ammon Bundy's attorneys, demanded his client be released, even shouting at the judge. That prompted U.S. marshals to tackle Mumford to the ground and use a stun gun on him a number of times before arresting him, the Tribune reported.

U.S. District Judge Anna Brown said she was not able to release Bundy because he faces federal charges in Nevada, his home state, related to an armed standoff with federal Bureau of Land Management agents at his father Cliven Bundy's ranch in 2014.

As reported by KATU, the armed standoff began Jan. 2 and lasted nearly six weeks. The incident brought new attention to the long-running issue of too much federal ownership of lands in the American West. The confrontations at the refuge earlier this year and on Cliven Bundy's ranch in 2014 essentially reignited arguments between private citizens – mostly ranchers – and the federal government that stem from the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion in the late 1970s, when Western states like Nevada attempted to wrestle more control of their own territory from the federal government.

As noted by The New York Times the federal government owns nearly half of the land – 47 percent – in the West.

The Tribune noted that even the defendants' attorneys were shocked by the acquittals.

"It's stunning," said Robert Salisbury, an attorney for defendant Jeff Banta. "It's a stunning victory for the defense. I'm speechless."

The U.S. Attorney in Oregon, Billy J. Williams, said in a statement that his office stood by its decision to prosecute the seven defendants.

"We strongly believe that this case needed to be brought before a Court, publicly tried, and decided by a jury," the statement said.

'When the jury hears the story, I expect the same result'

The Oregon case was, in a sense, an extension the tense standoff between federal officials with the BLM and other authorities, and the Bundy's two years ago in Nevada. Cliven, Ammon and Ryan Bundy are all scheduled to go on trial for that standoff early next year.

It's not clear what the outcome of the Nevada trial will be. Federal attorneys have said they don't feel like the outcome in Oregon will have any effect whatsoever on the Nevada trial.

But defense attorneys involved in the Nevada trial aren't so sure. Daniel Hill, an attorney for Ammon Bundy, says the Oregon acquittal bodes well for his client and the other defendants, all of whom are facing felony weapon, conspiracy and other charges, the Tribune reported.

"When the jury hears the whole story," he told The Associated Press, "I expect the same result."






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