Federal authorities have charged another 14 individuals for their alleged role in a 2014 armed standoff between rancher Cliven Bundy and federal authorities who were trying to remove his cows from public land.
The latest arrested are just a fraction of the hundreds who authorities say used armed force against law enforcement officers to “thwart the seizure” of the cows after Bundy refused to obtain permits or pay fees for 20 years that would allow them to graze on public land, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nevada.
A federal grand jury in Nevada charged the defendants Thursday with at least eight counts, including assault on a law enforcement officer, conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, use of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and interstate travel in aid of extortion, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Some of those counts have a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, the release says.
Authorities say Bundy was the ringleader who exercised “ultimate authority” over these individuals and the operations so he could receive “the economic benefits of the extortion,” according to the release.
Bundy and four others, including two of his sons, were indicted in February and face 16 felony charges related to the standoff.
Bundy was deemed a flight risk and was denied bail last month, according to Natalie Collins, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada.
A woman who answered CNN’s calls to the Bundy residence Thursday night declined to comment on the additional charges.