Jury convicts 2 of conspiracy in Oregon ranching standoff - KPTV - FOX 12

Jury convicts 2 of conspiracy in Oregon ranching standoff

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Occupation at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (file image) Occupation at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (file image)
PORTLAND, OR (AP) -

A jury has convicted two men of conspiracy to impede federal officers during an armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon.

The verdict Friday handed prosecutors a measure of redemption after they failed to convict Ammon and Ryan Bundy along with five other occupiers in a high-profile trial last fall involving the takeover of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a remote bird sanctuary southeast of Portland.

In the current trial, Jason Patrick and Darryl Thorn were found guilty of conspiracy. However, defendants Duane Ehmer and Jake Ryan were found not guilty of conspiracy. Ehmer and Ryan were found guilty of deprivation of government property.

The men had faced the same primary charge as the Bundy defendants — conspiring to impede Interior Department employees from doing their jobs at the refuge.

In a statement released after the verdict was announced, U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams reiterated that the case was not about the beliefs of the people that took over the refuge but rather their conduct.

'Taking up arms and occupying federal lands and property that interferes with federal employees discharging their duties is and will continue to be illegal," Williams said. "We cannot have people taking over government offices and facilities at the end of a gun and expect no consequences."

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