FOUR HOLDOUTS STILL FACE CHARGES
The four remaining protesters were indicted last week along with 12 others previously arrested on charges of conspiring to impede federal officers during the occupation.
The takeover at Malheur, which began on Jan. 2, was sparked by the return to prison of two Oregon ranchers convicted of setting fires that spread to federal property in the vicinity of the refuge.
The occupation, led by Idaho rancher Ammon Bundy, also was directed as a protest against federal control over millions of acres public land in the West.
Cliven Bundy, his father, was arrested on Wednesday when he arrived at Portland International Airport on his way to the wildlife refuge to support the militants, according to the Oregonian newspaper.
Cliven, 74, faces conspiracy and weapons charges, the paper reported. He lead a 2014 standoff with the government over Nevada grazing rights that ended with federal agents backing down in the face of about 1,000 armed militiamen.
Ammon Bundy and 10 others were arrested in January in Oregon, most of them during a confrontation with the FBI and state police on a snow-covered roadside where a spokesman for the group, Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, was shot dead. A 12th member of the group turned himself in to police in Arizona.
The FBI said its agents moved to contain the remaining four holdouts Wednesday evening after one of the occupiers drove an all-terrain vehicle outside the barricades previously set up by the self-styled militia members at the refuge.
FBI agents attempted to approach the driver, and he sped away back to the compound, after which federal agents "moved to contain the remaining occupiers by placing agents at barricades both immediately ahead of and behind" their encampment, the FBI said.
Until Wednesday, FBI and police had largely kept their distance from the buildings occupied by the militants, sealing off access to the refuge headquarters with roadblocks.
"However, we reached a point where it became necessary to take action" to ensure everyone's safety, Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, said in a statement.
Thank goodness for the federal government. "We the people" need protection from armed thugs like these dangerous, deadbeat losers.