Fi­nal de­fen­dant sen­tenced for Ore­gon refuge takeover


PORT­LAND, Ore. — An Ari­zona man has be­come the fi­nal per­son sen­tenced for par­tic­i­pat­ing in the armed takeover of a wildlife refuge in south­east­ern Ore­gon.

Blaine Cooper of Hum­boldt was sen­tenced Tues­day to time al­ready served in prison. He pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy nearly two years ago.

He was one of 26 peo­ple ini­tially charged with con­spir­ing to pre­vent fed­eral em­ploy­ees from do­ing their jobs at the Mal­heur Na­tional Wildlife Refuge. The group seized the bird sanc­tu­ary Jan. 2, 2016, and held it for 41 days in a protest against the im­pris­on­ment of two ranch­ers.

Four­teen de­fen­dants ul­ti­mately pleaded guilty to ei­ther con­spir­acy or tres­pass­ing, and an­other four were con­victed by a jury. Sen­tences ranged from pro­ba­tion to three years in prison.

Seven de­fen­dants, in­clud­ing oc­cu­pa­tion lead­ers Am­mon and Ryan Bundy, were ac­quit­ted in a trial end­ing in Oc­to­ber 2016. Charges were dropped against an­other de­fen­dant.

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