A federal grand jury in Nevada indicted Cliven Bundy and four others Wednesday on 16 charges related to an armed standoff near his ranch in 2014 over unpaid grazing fees. The 69-year-old Nevada rancher was arrested Feb. 10 in Portland, Ore., where his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy are jailed and accused of organizing the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Ammon and Ryan were among those indicted by the Nevada grand jury on charges that include conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer. Cliven Bundy and the other defendants are currently in custody in Oregon.
Cliven Bundy is accused of leading "a massive armed assault" of 200 followers to stop federal law agents who were rounding up about 400 of Bundy's cattle on federal lands in April 2014. Court documents say federal officials were outnumbered four to one by armed Bundy followers and, wishing to avoid a firefight, diffused the situation by abandoning the cattle to Bundy. "Today marks a tremendous step toward ending more than 20 years of law breaking," Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze said in a statement picked up by NBC News. "The nation's public lands belong to all Americans." (The FBI uncovered a smelly surprise at the Oregon refuge.)