Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupier Travis Cox on Wednesday became the ninth defendant to plead guilty to charges that he conspired to prevent federal employees from doing their jobs.
Prosecutors recommended Cox serve eight months of home detention for his role in the occupation. They also said they would like him to receive credit for the two months of pretrial detention he already served.
Ongoing coverage of the federal case against the people involved in the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and how life has changed in Harney County, Oregon.
U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown, who’s overseeing the trial, has ultimate say over Cox’s sentence. He’ll appear before Brown in December for sentencing.
“You’ve capped your exposure,” Brown told Cox as the proceeding came to a close. “It’s critical that you don’t do anything between now and sentencing to jeopardize it.”
Cox is the ninth person to plead guilty in the case. Defendants Eric Flores, Geoffrey Stanek, Wesley Kjar, Corey Lequieu, Jason Blomgren, Brian Cavalier, Blaine Cooper and Ryan Payne have all pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge.
Cox, who is from the Bend area, acknowledged in court that he went to the refuge Jan. 9-26 with a goal of supporting the occupation and working with others to prevent employees from doing their jobs.
While at the refuge, Cox said, he performed armed security guarding the front and back gates of the headquarter complex.
Prosecutors said in court Wednesday that in terms of evidence, they have a photo of Cox at the refuge with a rifle slung over his shoulder as well as a video of him with a handgun in the bunkhouse.
After the occupation, prosecutors said, the FBI found a Remington .308 rifle that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined Cox purchased in September 2015.
In exchange for taking responsibility, prosecutors dismissed a second charge of carrying a firearm at a federal facility.
As a felon, Cox will no longer be allowed to lawfully poses firearms. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in December.