The FBI and Oregon State Police (OSP) on Wednesday established a series of checkpoints at major roads in and out of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
In the hours prior to the checkpoints, several vehicles are known to have left the area, the FBI said, but since the establishment of checkpoints, a total of eight people have left the refuge. Of those, the FBI released five and arrested three.
The FBI said it made probable cause arrests of Duane Leo Ehmer, age 45, of Irrigon, Oregon, and Dylan Wade Anderson, age 34, of Provo, Utah and Jason S. Patrick, age 43, of Bonaire, Georgia.
All were in contact with the FBI, and each chose to turn himself into agents at a checkpoint outside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The arrests were without incident, the FBI said.
Each man faces one federal felony count of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 372.
As reported, the containment procedure involves a series of checkpoints established along key routes into and out of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The FBI said that signs will be posted, and that anyone who moves beyond those signs will be stopped, identified and asked to leave. Non-compliant people will be subject to arrest, the FBI said, adding that anyone coming out of the refuge will have his or her identification confirmed and any associated vehicles searched.
The FBI said that the only people allowed to pass into the checkpoints will be Harney County ranchers who own property in those specific areas. They will be required to show photo ID as they go in and out.
Speaking Wednesday, Greg Bretzing, FBI Special Agent in Charge said that, “the armed occupiers were given ample opportunities to leave peacefully. They were given the opportunity to negotiate. As outsiders to Oregon, they were given the opportunity to return to their homes and have their grievances heard through legal and appropriate means. They chose, instead, to threaten the very America they profess to love with violence, intimidation and criminal acts.”
Bretzing confirmed that eight people were arrested, “and one man died yesterday as we attempted to take him into custody.”