Judge rules to dismiss standoff case against rancher Bunchy

Cliven Bundy standoff case thrown out in another stunning blow to government

The Nevada rancher accused of leading an armed standoff that stopped federal agents from rounding up his cattle in 2014 walked out of a courthouse in Las Vegas a free and defiant man Monday, declaring that his fight against USA authority is not over.

She said federal prosecutors withheld evidence that would have been helpful to the defendant's case, eliminating the possibility for a fair trial.

Navarro severely criticized prosecutors for failing to properly turn over evidence to their lawyers. He says that he had been jailed for 700 days as a "political prisoner" for refusing to acknowledge federal authority over the land around his cattle ranch. 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.

In Las Vegas, Navarro declared a mistrial December 20, leaving Cliven Bundy as the only one of the four defendants still jailed after refusing the judge's offer of release to house arrest.

The judge signaled at that time that she might dismiss the case outright. But the trial has largely been seen as a series of missteps and even persecution from federal officials at the Bureau of Land Management.

The question of land rights has been a thorny issue for decades in western USA states, where the federal government owns most of the land. He refused to pay government-mandated fees for letting his cattle graze on public land, which ultimately led to a standoff on that land and criminal charges.


A decision is due in Las Vegas whether to end the criminal prosecution of a Nevada rancher and followers accused of leading an armed uprising against federal authorities.

She told a packed courtroom in Las Vegas that the violations prevented a fair trial and amounted to prosecutorial misconduct.

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.

In response to the dismissal, Mike Ford, Nevada's former deputy state director of the Bureau of Land Management, said in an email: "Regrettably, there is culpability to be shared, but numerous good people of the BLM, and others, will now be painted with the same brush of bad behavior based upon the lack of common sense, failed leadership, and irresponsible actions of a few perpetrated by Special Agent Dan Love".

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. Love was also the subject of federal investigations into alleged misconduct and was sacked from the agency a year ago. United States Attorney Dayle Elieson for the District of Nevada released the following statement: "We respect the Court's ruling and will make a determination about the next appropriate steps". U.S. Attorney General alleging unethical and legal violations by the feds.

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