Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has been arrested by the FBI as the last four armed occupiers at the wildlife refuge in Oregon prepare to turn themselves in.
The 73-year-old, whose son Ammon led the standoff before he was arrested on January 26, was taken into custody after landing in Portland International Airport on Wednesday night as he was on his way to join the militia.
He is set to face charges stemming from another confrontation with federal officials in 2014 over government-owned land.
Bundy was booked into jail, but the FBI would not officially confirm why.
The last holdouts, who have been at the refuge since January 2, agreed to turn themselves in later this morning – but insisted ‘we’re not surrendering’.
The tense stand-off played out on the Internet last night via a phone line being live-streamed by an acquaintance of occupier David Fry.
Fry, 27, sounded increasingly unraveled as he continually yelled, at times hysterically, at what he said was an FBI negotiator.
‘You’re going to hell. Kill me. Get it over with,’ he said, adding: ‘The only way we’re leaving here is dead or without charges.’
But after the intervention of a Nevada legislator, who urged the protesters to come out alive and prayed with them, the group agreed to give themselves up to the FBI at 8am today.
He led the protest against with the government over Nevada grazing rights that ended with federal agents backing down in the face of about 1,000 armed militiamen.
Bundy’s charges include conspiracy to interfere with a federal officer, the same as that levelled against two of his sons, Ammon and Ryan, for their role in the current siege at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
The takeover at Malheur was sparked by the return to prison of two Oregon ranchers convicted of setting fires that spread to federal property in the vicinity of the refuge.
The occupation was directed as a protest against federal control over millions of acres public land in the West.
Read more: Daily Mail
Last night the FBI surrounded the Oregon wildlife refuge ready to ‘move in’. During a live radio broadcast with Gavin Seim, however, the FBI said there would be no action that night and they would be coming back by 8am today.