A federal judge in Portland has signed off on releasing a convicted leader of last year’s occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge from jail.
Ryan Payne will be released to home detention and subject to GPS monitoring, according to the terms of his release.
U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown authorized his release Friday in Oregon.
Hometown: Anaconda, Montana
The release follows a decision by a federal judge in Nevada to release Payne from custody, where he’s facing several felonies for his role a 2014 armed standoff between ranchers and the Bureau of Land Management.
He’s currently on trial in Nevada for those charges. Additionally, the judge released co-defendants Ryan and Ammon Bundy, who are also on trial in Nevada.
In July 2016, Payne pleaded guilty in Oregon to a single felony for his role in the Malheur occupation: conspiracy to impede federal employees from working at the refuge.
He has yet to been sentenced in Oregon. Prosecutors told Brown Thursday in court they plan to recommend Payne serve about three and a half years in prison.
In a 63-page indictment in the Nevada case, federal prosecutors allege “Payne was a leader and organizer of the conspiracy who, among other things: recruited gunmen and other followers; organized gunmen and other followers; communicated the objectives of the conspiracy to gunmen; led the armed assault on federal officers at the impoundment site; and organized protection for the conspirators and the criminal enterprise.”
Prosecutors in Nevada have charged Payne with two counts of assault on a federal officer, two counts of threatening a federal law enforcement officer, four counts of use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, two conspiracy charges, four counts of obstruction of justice, as well as other felonies.
After pleading guilty in Oregon, Payne was transferred to the district of Nevada to face charges there. But Brown added the condition that she be notified if Payne was to be released in Nevada.