DELTA — Federal authorities in Utah have arrested David Bundy, a son of rancher Cliven Bundy, as well as 13 others in connection with a 2014 armed standoff outside Bunkerville, Nevada.
David Bundy's wife, Marylynn, said her husband was arrested at the site of the home he is building for the family in Millard County, but the authorities who arrested him wouldn't tell her much. She was alerted by others who had been working at the house who called to tell her that law enforcement was keeping them from going back to it.
"I kind of had a feeling of, 'Well, what the heck, they're coming for him next? He didn't do anything,'" Marylynn Bundy said.
A few drivers in the departing FBI convoy stopped to talk to her, she said. "They said that they had a warrant for his arrest and they were doing their job, and they took him."
A nine count indictment unsealed Thursday charges David Bundy, 39 — along with his father, three of his brothers and 14 others — with conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer; using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence; assault on a federal officer; threatening a federal law enforcement officer; obstruction of the due administration of justice; interference with interstate commerce by extortion; interstate travel in aid of extortion; and five counts of criminal forfeiture.
The charges carry potential maximum penalties ranging from five to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.
All 19 defendants have been taken into custody, according the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"This investigation began the day after the assault against federal law enforcement officers and continues to this day," U.S. Attorney of Nevada Daniel Bogden said in a release. "We will continue to work to identify the assaulters and their role in the assault and the aftermath, in order to ensure that justice is served."
According to the indictment, David Bundy and his brother, Ammon Bundy, were "leaders and organizers in the conspiracy" accused of recruiting gunmen to participate in the standoff. It describes the standoff by Cliven Bundy as "a massive armed assault" after 20 years of the rancher refusing to pay grazing fees and later ignoring orders to remove his 400 head of cattle from public lands.
Marylynn Bundy doesn't dispute that her husband participated in the Bunkerville standoff but said he came under scrutiny of federal investigators when he took pictures and video with an iPad of Bureau of Land Management agents coming into the area, ignoring their orders to stop.
"My husband wasn't doing anything wrong, all he said was, 'I'm practicing my First Amendment right.' He didn't have a gun with him, nothing," she said.
She went on to say, "He was in the standoff, like everybody else was, protecting our rights. There we no guns shot, there were no fires, there was nothing like that there."
Bundy said that her husband had nothing to do with his brothers' occupation in Oregon, but the federal government is now punishing him along with his relatives.
"They're trying to get the whole entire family," Marylynn Bundy said, becoming emotional. "They have every brother in prison now. When are they going to come get the women and children? Next? My husband didn't do anything wrong."
She said she has been told by a friend who watched David Bundy's arrest from a distance that FBI agents used some kind of smoke and surrounded Bundy to take him into custody at the homesite, which is near an elementary school.
"He put his hands up, he got on his knees, he followed exactly what they told him to do. But is that really necessary in Millard County, Utah, around a school?" she asked.
An initial appearance for David Bundy is set for 2 p.m. Friday before Chief Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells. He is in custody in the Salt Lake County Jail.
Contributing: Paul Nelson
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