LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Two men from Idaho pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to obstructing a federal court order during the impoundment of Cliven Bundy’s cattle in Bunkerville, Nevada, in 2014.
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 of the Bureau of Land Management made the announcement.
34 year old Eric J. Parker of Hailey, Idaho and 47 year old O. Scott Drexler, of Challis, Idaho, each pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of court order. United States District Chief Judge Gloria M. Navarro accepted the individual pleas and scheduled both defendants to be sentenced on February 2, 2018. They each face the maximum statutory penalty of one year in prison and $100,000 fine.
According to their individual pleas, beginning on or around March 28, 2014, federal law enforcement officers form 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 federal public lands in and around Bunkerville. On April 12, 2014, Parker and Drexler attended a rally held by Cliven Bundy and his family and heard Bundy direct those present to go to the BLM impoundment site and get his cattle. Parker and Drexler then went to the BLM impoundment site along with several hundred other people who took positions in a wash leading into the impoundment site along with several hundred other people who toook positions in a wash leading into the impoundment site and on the I-15 overlooking the BLM impoundment site. While on the overpass, Parker and Drexler, both armed with rifles, heard the officers’ announcements, but did not comply with the orders and remained on the north bound I-15 bridge overlooking the impoundment site. The defendants failed to comply with the officers’ orders to leave the area. They presented a show of force in order to interfere with and impede the officers in the performance of their duties pursuant to federal court orders.