Cliven Bundy’s family is using social media to plan a rally outside the federal courthouse on Thursday before his arraignment on felony charges stemming from the April 2014 armed standoff with law enforcement near Bunkerville.
The defiant Nevada rancher, who is in federal custody, is to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bill Hoffman at 2 p.m. Thursday.
On its Facebook page, the Bundy Ranch says it’s “planning on filling the sidewalks” outside the courthouse at 333 Las Vegas Blvd. South from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and “then filling the courtroom.”
A reference to the notice was also posted on the Bundy Ranch Twitter account.
Bundy, 69, was brought to Las Vegas by U.S. marshals from Portland, Ore., where he was arrested in February on his way to support an armed standoff led by two of his sons at a government wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon.
He made a brief appearance before Hoffman on Friday, but told the judge he didn’t have a chance to read the latest 63-page indictment against him and wasn’t prepared to enter a plea. Bundy also said he needed time to find a lawyer to defend him.
The U.S. Marshals Service, which has the task of protecting the courthouse, had extra security on hand in the courtroom.
A spokesman for the office could not be reached for comment late Monday on whether any additional security measures will be taken Thursday. Previous inquiries about security for Bundy’s courthouse appearances were not answered by the Marshals Service.
Over the weekend, a small group of Bundy supporters, some of them armed, held a protest outside the Las Vegas courthouse over the death of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, authorities said. Finicum was shot to death toward the end of the 41-day Oregon standoff by state police as he resisted arrest and reached for a loaded handgun in his pocket, according to authorities.
Bundy faces 16 felony counts, including extortion, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer, assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal law enforcement officer and using and carrying a firearm in a crime of violence.
Bundy and 18 others — including four of his sons, Ammon, Ryan, David and Melvyn — were charged in the new federal indictment in Las Vegas last week in connection with the Bunkerville showdown.
All of the other defendants are in federal custody outside of Las Vegas and will have to be brought here by U.S. marshals to answer the charges.
The Bundys are described in the new indictment as key players in the “massive armed assault” against federal officers a few miles from the Bundy ranch on April 12, 2014.
The confrontation aimed to force federal officials to abandon about 400 cattle they had rounded up under court orders, according to the indictment. The Bundy family had been illegally grazing cattle on federal public lands for more than 20 years, it states.
During the height of the nationally televised standoff, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service rangers were outnumbered 4-to-1 by the Bundys and their 270 supporters, and rangers were threatened by snipers perched high above them on bridges, the indictment alleges.
Contact Jeff German at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ.