A federal judge in Eugene on Wednesday sentenced a supporter of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation on weapons charges.
U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken sentenced Michael Emry, 55, of John Day, to two and a half years in federal prison and three years of supervised release.
Emry pleaded guilty earlier this year to having a fully automatic machine gun that wasn’t registered to him. At the time of his arrest in Grant County, he admitted he had stolen the gun from a shop where he worked in Idaho without the owner’s knowledge. He also said he obliterated the serial number.
Emry came to Oregon from Idaho shortly before the January 2016 refuge takeover led by brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy. He was a self-styled reporter for a pro-Bundy website “The Voice of Idaho.” He wrote about the occupation and regularly embedded with patriot groups.
Prior to his arrest, Emry had tried to sell the machine gun to someone he believed was a felon and the captain of a Texas militia group. That person was an undercover law enforcement officer, according to court filings.
Emry has a history of building firearms and illegal weapons. Emry had previously testified in a case that he built upward of 66 machine guns for a friend's weapons locker, along with building a bomb and silencer for a drug dealer to kill potential witnesses.
“I applaud federal and state law enforcement officers for their swift and decisive action in removing a very dangerous stolen weapon from the community,” said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for Oregon, in a news release.
"Transporting stolen weapons is a serious crime and will be met with equally serious consequences," he said.
Emry has been in federal custody in Oregon since his May 2016 arrest.