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Additional charges expected in armed takeover at wildlife refuge

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon was carved out of a reservation originally set aside for the ancestors of the Burns Paiute Tribe. Photo from Facebook

Federal prosecutors expect to file additional charges in connection with the armed takeover at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Some 25 people have already been indicted for their roles in the 41-day standoff that cost taxpayers at least $3.3 million, The Oregonian reported. Now that authorities have finished assessing conditions at the site, charges under the Native American Graves and Repatriation Protection Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act are possible.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation sent an evidence response team and an art crimes team to the refuge to look for potential damage to cultural sites and artifacts. The Burns Paiute Tribe was consulted during the effort, according to court documents.

The land in an around the refuge was initially set aside as a reservation for the tribe. The federal government ended up taking all 1.78 million acres after forcing the tribe to march to reservations in neighboring Washington in the late 1800s.

Tribal members eventually returned and now reside on a much smaller reservation in Burns, about 30 miles from the refuge.

Get the Story:
Ammon Bundy, others plead not guilty in Oregon refuge case (AP 2/24)
Oregon standoff: Ammon Bundy, others plead not guilty; judge aims to avoid trial delay (The Oregonian 2/24)
Oregon refuge occupiers plead not guilty as prosecutors say more people could be charged (The Washington Post 2/24)
25 Plead Not Guilty in Standoff at the Oregon Wildlife Refuge (The New York Times 2/25)

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