Now Playing:


local | News | An Occupation In Eastern Oregon

Faces Of The Malheur Refuge Occupation Trial

In January 2016, a group of men and women with ties to the 2014 standoff in Bunkerville, Nevada, took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. For 41 days the group controlled access to and from the refuge as part of a demand for federally controlled lands to be turned over to Western states. The trial of the first seven individuals charged in connection with the standoff ended in acquittal. The second trial of four more individuals began in Portland, Oregon, on Feb. 14, 2017.

Follow all of our coverage of the occupation and related trials, and use this page as a quick guide to the legal status of the individuals indicted in connection with the occupation.



Trial Underway:


Duane Ehmer
Hometown: Irrigon, Oregon
Verdict Reached

Duane Ehmer was found not guilty of conspiracy; guilty of depredation of government property.

Jason Patrick
Hometown: Bonaire, Georgia
Verdict Reached

Jason Patrick was found guilty of conspiracy; not guilty of carrying a firearm in a federal facility.


Jake Ryan
Hometown: Plains, Montana

Jake Ryan was found not guilty of conspiracy; not guilty of carrying a firearm in a federal facility; guilty of depredation of government property.


Verdict Reached:

Ammon Bundy
Hometown: Emmett, Idaho

Leader of the Malheur refuge occupation. Ammon Bundy was acquitted in Oregon. A mistrial was declared in Nevada.

Ryan Bundy
Hometown: Cedar City, Utah

Worked alongside his brother, Ammon Bundy, as a leader of the Malheur occupation. Ryan was acquitted in Oregon. A mistrial was declared in Nevada.


David Fry
Hometown: Blanchester, Ohio
Not guilty

Fry worked as a website designer and content producer after arriving at Malheur. Fry was the last occupier to surrender.

Shawna Cox
Hometown: Kanab, Utah
Not guilty

Unofficial historian of the Bundy group. Mother of 12 and frequent participant in protests by self-styled patriot groups, including Bunkerville and Malheur.

Kenneth Medenbach
Hometown: Crescent, Oregon
Not guilty

A woodworker from Oregon. Medenbach has an extensive history of conflict with the Bureau of Land Management.


Neil Wampler
Hometown: Los Osos, California
Not guilty

Retired woodworker who has been active in Second Amendment and other “patriot” issues in recent years. Served four years in prison for murdering his father.

Jeff Banta
Hometown: Yerington, Nevada
Not guilty

One of the final four occupiers, defense attorneys say Banta didn’t arrive at the refuge until Jan. 25, the night before occupation leaders were arrested.


Charges Dismissed:

Peter Santilli
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Charges dismissed

A self-styled reporter who participated in the Bunkerville and Malheur events. Santilli made frequent calls for more occupiers to come to Oregon.

U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown has approved federal prosecutors’ request to dismiss charges against Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupier Peter Santilli.

Prosecutors filed the motion on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, the day before the trial was set to begin.

Santilli is an internet radio host who broadcast live from the wildlife refuge during the occupation.

Santilli still faces charges in Nevada for his role in the 2014 standoff with federal officials in Bunkerville, Nevada.


  Pleaded Guilty:

Jason Blomgren
Hometown: Western North Carolina
Pleaded guilty
Brian Cavalier
Hometown: Bunkerville, Nevada
Pleaded guilty


Blaine Cooper
Hometown: Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona
Pleaded guilty
Eric Flores
Hometown: Tulalip, Washington
Pleaded guilty


Wesley Kjar
Hometown: Manti, Utah
Corey Lequieu
Hometown: Fallon, Nevada
Pleaded guilty


Joseph O'Shaughnessy
Hometown: Cottonwood, Arizona
Pleaded guilty
Ryan Payne
Hometown: Anaconda, Montana


Jon Ritzheimer
Hometown: Peoria, Arizona
Geoffry Stanek
Hometown: Lafayette, Oregon
Pleaded guilty


Travis Cox
Hometown: Bend, Oregon
Pleaded guilty
Dylan Anderson
Hometown: Provo, Utah
Pleaded guilty


Sandra Anderson
Hometown: Riggins, Idaho
Pleaded guilty
Sean Anderson
Hometown: Riggins, Idaho
Pleaded guilty


Timeline: The Armed Occupation Of The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

John Sepulvado / Juan Ramirez / Bryan M. Vance/OPB

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Oregon Harney County courts crime land use