An Occupation In Eastern Oregon

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.

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupier Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy has become the tenth defendant to plead guilty for his role in the January takeover near Burns.   

O’Shaughnessy, 44, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiracy to impede federal workers at the wildlife refuge through threats or intimidation.  

Federal prosecutors described O’Shaughnessy as a mid-level organizer of the occupation in Oregon. They also say he participated in a 2014 standoff at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada.  

As part of a pending plea agreement in the Nevada case, O’Shaughnessy was required to plead guilty in Oregon.

O’Shaughnessy said that he did not participate in the takeover of the refuge but supported the message and provided security for the occupiers, which he acknowledged threatened federal workers.  

This charge is O’Shaughnessy’s first felony, and although the conspiracy charge carries a maximum of six years in prison, he will most likely serve 12 to 18 months, according to federal prosecutor Craig Gabriel and O’Shaugnessy’s attorney, Amy Baggio.  

His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 2.