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Bundy goes free: Judge dismisses case against rancher after mistrial
10 January 2018, 01:51 | Darnell Patrick
US judge tosses case against Cliven Bundy, sons
On Jan. 8, a U.S. District Court judge dismissed all charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, sons Ammon and Ryan, and Montana militiaman Ryan Payne due to misconduct by prosecutors.
She said the attorneys were in violation of the Brady rule, which requires prosecutors to disclose evidence that could be favorable to a defendant, and told them it wasn't possible to proceed with the case. Bundy said he did not recognize the government's authority to levy the fees. Eyewitnesses to the stand-off between an armed citizenry and armed federal agents say it's nothing short of miraculous that no one was killed during the event that took place in Nevada in 2014.
Cliven Bundy emerged to supporters' cheers, while environmental and conservation advocates anxious that the dismissal of his charges would bolster "violent and racist anti-government" followers who aim to erode established parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands controlled by US officials. Prosecutors have faced several losses in OR and Nevada arising from armed Bundy standoffs over federal control of vast stretches of land in the U.S. West.
Wooten justified the fears of liberty lovers by reporting that federal agents committed multiple civil rights violations, used more force than necessary, and violated multiple federal government policies during the Bunkerville standoff. Bundy cattle graze on BLM and National Park Service lands, but the rancher believes that the federal government can not legally own or administer public lands.
On Monday, she dismissed the charges "with prejudice", meaning the men can not face trial for the incident again, because of "flagrant prosecutorial misconduct".
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The four defendants were charged with threatening a federal officer, carrying and using a firearm and engaging in conspiracy - felony counts that could send them to prison for decades. When asked whether another standoff would happen if the BLM again attempted to impound the family's cattle that are still grazing federal land without the required permit, Ammon Bundy said: "I don't know, you'd have to ask my dad".
Internal affairs reports about misconduct by Bureau of Land Management agents. Love led the failed 2014 impoundment and is a controversial figure in the West, known for his aggressive law enforcement tactics.
Just a few weeks ago, Navarro ruled a mistrial in the Bundy case.
No shots were fired before the outnumbered and outgunned federal agents withdrew.
Whipple said the effect that Monday's dismissal will have on that forthcoming trial "is going to be nothing but positive". U.S. Attorney General alleging unethical and legal violations by the feds.
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