Nine additional people indicted in Burns standoff, bringing tota - KPTV - FOX 12

Nine additional people indicted in Burns standoff, bringing total arrests to 25

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Jail booking photos of Sandra Anderson, Sean Anderson, Jeff Banta and David Fry. Jail booking photos of Sandra Anderson, Sean Anderson, Jeff Banta and David Fry.
Geoffrey Stanek and Darryl Thorn. Geoffrey Stanek and Darryl Thorn.

The standoff in Burns may be officially over, but nine more people have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, bringing the total number of arrests in the case to 25.

All 25 defendants are facing a federal charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States.

The last four people to leave the refuge, Sean and Sandy Anderson, Jeffrey Banta and David Fry appeared in federal court in downtown Portland Friday, after they gave themselves up to the FBI at the refuge Thursday morning.

Two of the nine people just indicted also made their first appearances: Darryl Thorn and Geoffrey Stanek.

All six defendants who were in court Friday pleaded not guilty.  Release hearings have been set over to a later date for all but Stanek, who was granted release by the judge.

Prosecutors said in court Stanek was photographed on the refuge carrying an assault rifle, talked about “being down here with my militia group” and served as a medic at the refuge while also volunteering for guard duty.  They argued the judge should not grant him release, calling him a danger to the community.

Prosecutors also said Stanek was carrying a loaded Glock handgun when he was taken into custody in Forest Grove, after a warrant had been issued for his arrest.  The judge said, to his knowledge, Stanek does not have a concealed carry permit and said of the loaded weapon, "That concerns me."

As part of his release condition, Stanek is not allowed to “own, possess or control” any gun or other weapon.

Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore drove to the refuge in Burns late Wednesday evening, along with Bundy’s attorney, Mike Arnold, at the request of the last four occupiers who remained at the refuge.

She was in court Friday, along with two other elected officials from Nevada, and spoke to the media outside the federal courthouse.

“I truly believe that the refuge and the people that stood on the refuge are prisoners today because they exercised their political free speech,” Fiore said.  “We’re talking about a bunch of cowboys camping in the middle of nowhere, bearing their rights to their firearms.  That’s what we’re talking about.”

Fiore became emotional, talking about her relationship with the last four occupiers and her decision to go to Burns to help facilitate their safe exit.

“I’m a mom, too,” she said in tears.  “I’m really glad they’re safe, and I also have to give kudos to the FBI agents that were out there because no one got hurt.”

Nevada Assemblyman John Moore also spoke to the press, not mincing words about the shooting death of militia member Lavoy Finicum.

The FBI released video of the shooting, and said Finicum was reaching for a loaded gun when he was shot.

“They chose violence and murder rather than to apprehend him,” Moore said of the FBI and Oregon State Police.  “I know what an ambush is, and when I saw that video, that was clear cut ambush.”

Also outside the courthouse, a group of people who support the occupiers gathered carrying signs and waving the American flag.

“The American people have a lot of power,” Joe Visci with Oregon Oath Keeper told Fox 12.  “We need to wake up, take our power back and realize the government works for us.  They don’t tell us what to do, they don’t make our laws and rules, we make our laws and rules.”

Many of the defendants will be back in court next week as some trials are tentatively set to begin in April.

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