Months after a tense standoff between Bureau of Land Management officers and supporters of Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher is now in the crosshairs of not only federal authorities, but local law enforcement.
Citing Bundy’s allowance of protesters onto his ranch as armed BLM agents used force to attempt to drive him from the federally owned property his family has used for generations, Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie made it clear he wants to see the elderly rancher pay.
“If you step over that line,” he said in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “there are consequences to those actions.”
He went on to contend that the demonstrators – many of whom belonged to state militias – “stepped over that line” and “need to be held accountable for it.”
BLM spokesperson Celia Boddington confirmed in a recent statement that the agency continues to investigate the April standoff and will make sure “those who broke the law are held accountable.”
Though local and federal authorities might agree that Bundy and his supporters should face consequences for their actions, there is much less agreement regarding how the BLM acted. According to Gillespie, he and Bundy discussed the issue weeks before the bureau arrived at the ranch.
“I came back from that saying, ‘This is not the time to do this,’” he recalled. “They said, ‘We do this all the time. We know what we’re doing. We hear what you’re saying, but we’re moving forward.’”
While Gillespie suggests the BLM risked lives in pursuing the outstanding debt so vigorously, bureau sources say he has his facts wrong.
“It is unfortunate that the sheriff is now attempting to rewrite the details of what occurred,” Boddington said, “including his claims that the BLM did not share accurate information.”
She concluded that he “encouraged the operation and promised to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us as we enforced two recent federal court orders.”
As for Bundy and those who came to his aid amid the BLM incursion, there seems to be little they can do aside from waiting for the other shoe to drop.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom