Two Bundy Defendants Expected to Plead Guilty

LAS VEGAS (CN) — Two defendants in the 2014 armed standoff over grazing fees at Cliven Bundy’s ranch were expected to change their pleas to guilty Thursday in federal court hearings.
     Gerald “Jerry” DeLemus and Blaine Cooper pleaded not guilty in May to obstruction, extortion, threatening federal officers, conspiracy, assault and firearms charges.
     They are expected to become the first two of 19 defendants to plead guilty.
     Cooper, of Humboldt, Ariz., already accepted a plea deal in Oregon, where he was charged with his role in the February standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. He was to appear today before U.S. District Judge Robert C. Jones at 9 a.m.
     DeLemus, of Rochester, N.H., was to go before U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro at 9:30.
     DeLemus was slated to change his plea Tuesday, but Navarro continued the hearing due to a discrepancy between a code cited in the indictment and the elements of the offense listed in the plea agreement.
     Cliven Bundy faces 16 felony counts, including extortion, obstruction of justice and conspiracy, for interfering with the federal government’s roundup of the cattle he grazed on federal land for years without paying grazing fees, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
     The Bureau of Land Management (says Bundy owes it more than $1.1 million in federal grazing fees and penalties.
     On April 12, 2014, Bundy and several armed supporters stopped the BLM from rounding up his cattle, leading to an armed standoff that lasted for days. The federal agents eventually went home. Cliven Bundy was arrested at the Portland airport this year, from where he planned to travel to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, where his sons were leading an occupation.
     Cliven Bundy and his sons Ammon, Ryan, Melvyn and David are among 19 facing federal charges in Nevada.
     Ammon and Ryan Bundy also face charges for this year’s standoff with the federal government at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, during which one person died.

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