A judge in Las Vegas has made a decision to dismiss criminal charges against a Nevada rancher and his sons accused of leading an armed uprising against federal authorities in 2014. When she declared the mistrial in December, Navarro said federal prosecutors withheld evidence that could have been favorable for the defense, in violation of the Brady rule, the LA Times report said.
This ruling today can be considered a victory for those who believed the Bundy's and those who came to support his land claim had been unfairly persecuted by the federal government. Eyewitnesses to the stand-off between an armed citizenry and armed federal agents say it's nothing short of miraculous that no one was killed during the event that took place in Nevada in 2014.
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his sons were released by a federal judge in Las Vegas, after she dismissed with prejudice all charges against them.
Federal judge in Nevada throws out charges...
In court Monday, Judge Navarro dismissed the case "with prejudice", meaning the defendants can not be retried, according to LA Times.
The question of land rights has been a thorny issue for decades in western U.S. states, where the federal government owns most of the land. Agents with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) descended on Bundy's ranch that month and began to round up his cattle, saying he had failed to pay grazing fees for 20 years. The government said the Bundys' incendiary language and actions led to the armed standoff outside the family's ranch about an hour north of Las Vegas.
Bret Whipple, Cliven Bundy's attorney, said his client was "just ecstatic about the results, and we're glad he's finally going home".
The four defendants were charged with threatening a federal officer, carrying and using a firearm and engaging in conspiracy - felony counts that could send them to prison for decades.
The judge severely criticized prosecutors for willfully violating the due process rights of the defendants, including failing to properly turn over evidence to their lawyer. When asked whether another standoff would happen if the BLM again attempted to impound the family's cattle that are still grazing federal land without the required permit, Ammon Bundy said: "I don't know, you'd have to ask my dad".
Back in November federal whistleblower Special Agent Larry Wooten blew the case wide open with a memo to the Asst.
It is not yet clear whether the trial of four more defendants in the larger Bunkerville standoff case, including two more of Cliven's sons, Mel and Dave Bundy, will continue as planned. U.S. Attorney General alleging unethical and legal violations by the feds.