Cliven Bundy, the father of two men at the centre of a tense standoff in Oregon, has been arrested by federal agents. Father to Ammon and Ryan Bundy, the prominent rancher, had been involved in a high-profile battle over grain rights for cattle in 2014.
He appeared at the funeral of a protestor killed last month by police in an incident linked to the standoff in which his sons are embroiled.
Police have not yet revealed what charges Mr Bundy faces, but he was arrested immediately upon arrival at the airport in Portland, Oregon.
His two sons had been holed up with armed protestors at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge since January. Both men have been arrested and now face charges of conspiracy to impede a federal officer.
Ammon Bundy, seen as the leader of the protest, was taken into custody last month after a confrontation with agents on a highway near to Burns. During that incident, a prominent member of the protest group, Robert “Lavoy” Finnicum, was shot and killed by police.
The siege has attracted massive media attention since it began on January 2 – when the remote refuge was occupied by the Bundys and their supporters.
The protestors say they are acting in protest over the return to jail of two ranchers accused of setting fires which affected federal properties in Oregon state, and over federal control of millions of acres of public land.
The FBI are said to be moving in and surrounding the wildlife refuge in what is seen as the last chapter in this long and dramatic story. It’s reported four protesters remain to be apprehended by law enforcement officials – and were indicted last week on the same charge as the Bundy brothers.
A live stream of an audio between occupiers, activities and a lawmaker from Nevada – Michele Fiore – was made available on YouTube. After chaotic and fraught negotiations, occupants appear to have agreed to a surrender on Thursday.