They were tried and convicted, then the sentencing judge ignored the federal minimum sentence.
Dwight Hammond, 73, and his 46-year-old son Steven turned themselves in at the Terminal Island federal correctional facility after spending time with relatives in Southern California, authorities said.
Cliven Bundy said his son felt obligated to intervene on behalf of the Hammonds.
Ammon Bundy has said he had never heard of the Hammond case until his father mentioned it to him.
“We have exhausted all prudent measures and have been ignored”, Ammon Bundy said. Really what we’re talking about here is maybe a handful, maybe more – men mainly, as far as I can tell – who have taken up residence at this National Wildlife Refuge, in some of the buildings here.
The sheriff says he is working with local and federal authorities to keep the citizens in his county safe and to resolve the situation as quickly and peacefully as possible.
But many said they viewed the occupation as mostly, if not entirely, the work of outside agitators, a sentiment echoed by Harney County Sheriff David Ward. “People need to be aware that we’ve become a system where government is actually claiming and using and defending people’s rights, and they are doing that against the people”.
We asked Gorey what he meant when he said the BLM was pursuing the matter through the legal system.
They want to “restore the rights to people so they can use the land and resources” for ranching, logging, mining and recreation.
But some families said they hope the armed group will end their occupation without a fight.
Through their lawyer, the Hammonds have distanced themselves from the Bundys, according to CBS News. “It’s a little unsettling to have these outsiders come in and co-opt the community and you know, tell us what we should think”. His concern is for the safety of the residents and he has requested police back-up from other law enforcement agencies in Ore., including the State Police. Ward left without answering any questions.
This armed occupation can in no way be justified on a scriptural basis. She’s spent time at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
“When the federal government was stopped from enforcing the law at gunpoint, that energized this entire movement”, said Heidi Beirich of the SPLC.
The reporters who arrived in Burns over the weekend were confronted with another challenge: How to describe the group of armed activists who had occupied federal property in an isolated part of OR to protest the prison sentence of two local ranchers. Protesters seized control of the headquarters building Saturday in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, in response to the pending arrests of the two men.
The Hammonds were convicted of arson three years ago for fires on federal land in 2001 and 2006, one of which was set to cover up deer poaching, according to prosecutors.
A judge said in October that their terms were too short and ordered them back to prison.
Instead, the Hammonds surrendered to prison authorities on Monday.
The armed protesters, who are still occupying the federal building, have said they will not budge until their demands are met – although it was unclear what the group, called Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, want from law enforcement.