The latest on an armed group that took over buildings at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon (all times local):
A judge has ordered Ammon Bundy and six others arrested for occupying a national wildlife refuge to remain in jail until at least Friday.
At Wednesday’s initial court appearance in Portland, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman said they are a danger to the community and, with no ties to Oregon, flight risks.
Beckerman set a detention hearing for Friday, giving the defendants a chance to argue for their release pending trial.
Public defender Lisa Hay pressed for the immediate release of her client, Ryan Payne. Hay says Payne has no criminal record, and prosecutors have not alleged he did anything violent.
Prosecutor Geoff Barrow said the risk is that he returns to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to “bunker with his co-conspirators.”
The defendants said little Wednesday. The most expressive was Ryan Bundy, who looked at the press and asked “How are you guys?” when he entered the courtroom.
Security was tighter than usual at the federal courthouse in Portland. Armed guards were stationed near the entrance, and cellphones were banned from the packed courtroom.
A federal criminal complaint against eight people arrested for occupying a national wildlife refuge says that the armed group had explosives and night-vision goggles and was prepared to fight.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman in Portland unsealed the complaint Wednesday, which lists reasons for the arrests Tuesday night during a traffic stop that left one man dead.
The document says a source told authorities about the equipment on Jan. 2, when the group took over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. It’s not clear if officials found explosives or if that’s the reason they moved to make the arrests.
The complaint says refuge employees were unable to report to work because of threats of violence from the group.
It includes photos of social media posts by the defendants during the occupation.
A local sheriff got emotional as he urged the armed activists still occupying a national wildlife preserve in Oregon to move on, saying the standoff “has been tearing our community apart.”
Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, who polices the region where the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is located, said at a news conference Wednesday that “there doesn’t have to be bloodshed in our community.”
A traffic stop outside the refuge Tuesday night ended with eight arrests and the death of one man.
He says law enforcement worked hard to create a plan to peacefully end the occupation of more than three weeks. The group is protesting federal land policy.
Ward says the death didn’t have to happen. He called on people to work through appropriate channels to air their grievances, saying, “We don’t arm up and rebel.”