Armed occupiers dug road and latrine near tribal sites at refuge

Bald eagles at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Photo by Steve Shunk / Facebook

Federal authorities have uncovered a road, two trenches and a camping area next to or on sensitive tribal sites at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, according to a filing in court.

The trenches were large and at least one of them was found to contain human feces, the document states. It's expected to take at least a couple of weeks to process the crime scenes.

"The outdoor camping area is adjacent to or on a particularly sensitive cultural site that may require extensive processing," U.S. Attorney Billy Williams wrote on Tuesday. "Occupiers appear to have excavated two large trenches and an improvised road on or adjacent to grounds containing sensitive artifacts. At least one of these trenches contains human feces."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation sent an evidence response team and an art crimes team to the refuge on February 13 to assess damage caused during the 41-day occupation of the refuge. Authorities are looking for potential violations of the Native American Graves and Repatriation Protection Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and other laws.

The FBI said it will work with the Burns Paiute Tribe to assess the damage. The tribe has been worried about damage to sacred sites and thousands of artifacts at the facility.

Get the Story:
Firearms, explosives and trench of human feces found at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, feds say (The Oregonian 2/16)
FBI Finds Trench of Human Feces at Cultural Site on Oregon Refuge (Reuters 2/16)
Militants May Have Dug Latrines Near Tribal Sites (Oregon Public Broadcasting 2/16)

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