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Plea hearing delayed for defendant in 2014 Bunkerville standoff case

A plea hearing for one of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s co-defendants was delayed Tuesday because of a technicality.

Gerald DeLemus of New Hampshire was the first of 19 defendants connected to an armed standoff with federal officers near Bunkerville in 2014 to reach a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Hundreds of armed, self-styled militiamen flocked to the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville in April 2014 to force federal officials to abandon roughly 400 cattle they had rounded up under court orders. The Bundy family had been illegally grazing cattle on federal public lands for more than 20 years.

The Bureau of Land Management-led cattle roundup was abandoned after a tense, armed standoff with Bundy supporters.

Prosecutors described DeLemus as a mid-level leader and organizer. He was accused of recruiting, organizing, training and providing logistical support to the Bundy supporters and of leading armed patrols.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro pointed out in court Tuesday that the charges to which DeLemus had agreed to plead guilty — conspiracy and interstate travel in aid of extortion — did not exactly match the language of the crimes with which he was charged.

Navarro rescheduled the hearing for Thursday morning to give both sides a chance to fix the language in the plea agreement.

Another codefendant, Blaine Cooper of Arizona, also is scheduled to plead guilty Thursday morning.

Contact Wesley Juhl at wjuhl@reviewjournal.com and 702-383-0391. Find @WesJuhl on Twitter

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