FBI Arrests Tea Party Leader for Bunkerville
3.03.16, 3:25pm – Scott Drexler has been arrested. This brings the total to 7.
*UPDATE* 3.03.16, 2:45pm (PST) – Todd Engel was arrested, believed to have been done in Couer d’Alene, ID. This brings the total, so far, to 6 arrests today.
*** UPDATE*** 3.03.16, 10:55am – Reports that two more people have been arrested: Eric Parker and Steven Stewart.
*UPDATE: 3.3.16, 11:45am – It is being reported by Bundy Ranch that Mel Bundy, another of Cliven’s sons, has also been arrested. His brother, Davey, was arrested this morning.
************** Idaho Statesman:
Eric James Parker, 32, and Steve Arthur Stewart, 36, both of Hailey; O. Scott Drexler, 44, of Challis; and Todd Engel, 48, of Boundary County were taken into custody, U.S. Attorney for Idaho Wendy Olson said.
They were among 14 defendants charged this week in the armed assault against federal law enforcement officers that took place in the Bunkerville, Nev., area on April 12, 2014.
The others arrested are Melvin D. Bundy, 41, of Round Mountain, Nev.; David H. Bundy, 39, of Delta, Utah; Brian D. Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nev.; Blaine Cooper, 36, of Humboldt, Ariz.; Gerald A. DeLemus, 61, of Rochester, N.H.; Richard R. Lovelien, 52, of Westville, Okla.; Gregory P. Burleson, 52, of Phoenix, Ariz.; Joseph D. O’Shaughnessy, 43, of Cottonwood, Ariz.; and Micah L. McGuire, 31, and Jason D. Woods, 30, both of Chandler, Ariz.
Jerry DeLemus, a New Hampshire Tea Party Leader and co-chairman for Veterans for Donald Trump in New Hampshire, who stood with the protesters at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon this year and in Bunkerville, Nevada in 2014, has been arrested by the FBI this morning.
His wife, State Rep. Susan DeLemus, R-Rochester, confirmed that FBI agents arrested her husband Thursday morning.
Delemus faces nine federal charges including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, threatening a federal law enforcement officer, obstruction of justice, attempting to impede or injure a federal law enforcement officer and several firearms charges, relating to when he was in Nevada to support the Bundy family at their Bunkerville ranch.
The “Battle of Bunkerville,” as it became known, stemmed from a 20-year legal dispute between the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and cattle rancher Cliven Bundy over unpaid grazing fees.
Cliven Bundy was arrested on February 10th as he disembarked from a plane in Portland, Oregon. He was traveling to see his sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, who were arrested in Harney County for leading a protest at the Malheur Refuge. LaVoy Finicum was killed by Law Enforcement during the arrests of the protesters.
Jack Kimball, a former state GOP chairman and a Tea Party leader, wrote on social media that DeLemus said the FBI agents forced their way into their condo with weapons drawn.
“She said that the FBI just rolled up with lots of vehicles and Agents who were in tactical gear,” Kimball wrote on Facebook this morning.
This arrest comes at the same time as reports of Davey Bundy being arrested by the FBI in Utah. The Millard County Sheriff’s office has confirmed the arrest of Bundy, but states they have no other information. The Sheriff was not present during the arrest.
***Updated*** As reported by the Union Leader:
The 64-page indictment cites DeLemus as one of eight defendants who “planned, organized, led, and/or participated as gunmen in the assault, all in order to threaten, intimidate, and extort the officers into abandoning approximately 400 head of cattle that were in their lawful care and custody.”
Court papers describe DeLemus as a “mid-level leader and organizer of the conspiracy,” who recruited, organized, trained and gave logistical support to gunmen and followers. He is alleged to have been a leader and organizer of armed patrols and security checkpoints on the Nevada ranch.
This is an ongoing story. Stay tuned to Redoubt News for updates as they become available.