LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – A defendant charged in the case involving the armed standoff in Bunkerville, Nevada, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Steven W. Myhre for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse for the FBI’s Las Vegas Division, and Acting Director Michael D. Nedd for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
52 year old Peter T. Santilli, Jr. of Cincinnati, Ohio, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer. United States District Chief Judge Gloria M. Navarro accepted the guilty plea. Sentencing is set for January 11, 2018. At the time of sentencing, Santilli faces up to six years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Beginning on or around March 28, 2014, federal law enforcement officers from the BLM and the National Park Service were engaged in the official duties of executing federal court orders authorizing them to remove and impound Cliven Bundy’s cattle trespassing on federal public lands in and around Bunkerville.
According to admissions made in connection to his plea, Santilli admitted that he knew Cliven Bundy and his sons, Ammon, Dave, Mel, and Ryan, and others associated with them, planned to thwart, impede and interfere with impoundment operations. He admitted that on Arpil 9, 2014, he used his car to block a convoy of BLM law enforcement officers and civilian employees as they were performing their official duties related to the impoundment. As a result, others were allowed to surround the convoy and threaten vehicle occupants by force, violence, and fear, inducing the officers to leave the place where their duties were required to be performed.
The investigation is being handled by the FBI and BLM. The case is being prosecuted by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven W. Myhre, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nadia J. Ahmed and Daniel R. Schiess, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin M. Creegan.