Arizona man gets 68 years in prison in Nevada
and News 7/27/17
LAS VEGAS (AP)
— A federal judge sentenced a Phoenix man Wednesday to 68
years in prison for his role as a gunman in a standoff that
stopped federal agents from rounding up cattle near the
Nevada ranch of anti-government activist Cliven Bundy three
sought a maximum sentence of 73 years for Gregory Burleson
after he was convicted of threatening and assaulting a
federal officer, obstruction and traveling across state
lines in aid of extortion.
But Chief U.S.
District Judge Gloria Navarro in Las Vegas knocked five
years off the recommendation, noting that the 53-year-old
Burleson has gone blind, has serious health issues and was
once an informant for the FBI.
attorney, Terrence Jackson, said he will appeal.
she believed Burleson and other armed men used “scare and
bullying tactics” to put federal agents in such mortal fear
that they abandoned attempts to enforce court orders to
round up Bundy cattle in April 2014.
the government employees suffered lasting psychological harm
as a result of the encounter.
“Even though a
shot was not fired,” the judge declared, “the injuries were
Bundy is a
states’ rights advocate and a leading figure in a
decades-long fight by ranchers and others who maintain the
federal government has no authority over vast stretches of
public lands in the western United States.
the case have maintained they were moved not by
anti-government sentiment, but instead by images of U.S.
Bureau of Land Management agents using stun guns and dogs
against Bundy family members.
not working for the FBI when he called for Arizona militia
members to go with him to the Bundy ranch, and he didn’t
apologize Wednesday for traveling to the scene of the tense
confrontation pitted heavily armed federal agents at the
gates of corrals where several hundred Bundy cattle had been
rounded up, against men with assault rifles on an Interstate
15 overpass and hundreds of protesters in a dry riverbed
“Yes, I was
down in the wash,” Burleson told the judge. “I did not go
with the intention of killing anybody or assaulting anybody.
It wasn’t a planned tactical assault as the government says
conceded later posting “alcohol-fueled rants and raves” on
Facebook about his role in making the government back down.
attorney Jackson characterized Burleson as “mesmerized by
his fame” after a photo was widely circulated showing him
“holding a rifle in sort of a combat pose.”
“It made Mr.
Burleson feel important,” Jackson said.
testify during his April jury trial.
co-defendant Todd Engel, 50, of Idaho guilty of obstruction
and traveling across state lines in aid of extortion. Engel
could face up to 30 years in prison at sentencing Sept. 28.
Two months of
testimony failed to reach verdicts for four other defendants
who are being retried.
Bundy, his sons
Ammon and Ryan, and two other defendants are due for trial
later this year. Six others, including two other Bundy sons,
are slated for trial next year.
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