A convoy of more than a dozen pickup trucks carrying armed men arrived at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon on Saturday.
Some of the men carrying rifles told journalists they were there to help with security for the group that has occupied the headquarters of the refuge since Jan. 2.
OPB’s Dave Blanchard confirmed the men said they were members of the Pacific Patriot Network, a consortium of groups from Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
They arrived at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge midmorning, carrying rifles and handguns and dressed in military attire and bulletproof vests.
Pacific Patriots Network founder and leader Brandon Curtiss says the group isn’t there to support the occupation at the refuge.
“We’re here to establish a security buffer between the gentlemen here at the refuge, the community citizens, as well as law enforcement,” Curtiss said.
One of the original occupiers of the refuge, LaVoy Finicum, said the group appreciates the Pacific Patriot Network’s help, but “we want the long guns put away.”