By Steve Neavling
FBI agents found more than 1,600 spent shell casings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge boat launch in Oregon, where protesters occupied the area for 41 days earlier this year.
The findings were shared with jurors in a video that showed seven or eight men firing assault rifles, the Oregonian reports.
Assistant U.S Attorney Ethan Knight said the video undermines defense attorneys’ claims that the armed standoff was a peaceful demonstration.
“It’s direct evidence of force,” Knight told the judge.
The Oregonian reports:
FBI agents, photographers and forensic accountants who were part of the agency’s Evidence Response Team spent the day testifying about what they recovered from the bird sanctuary in late February after the 41-day occupation. Bundy and six co-defendants are on trial, charged with conspiring to impede federal employees from the refuge through force, intimidation or threats.
The agents described dozens of boxes of ammunition found in multiple sites, rifle cases left in the refuge archaeologist’s office, a trench filled with trash bags near the RV park on the eastern edge of refuge headquarters, three cut padlocks located in a dumpster outside the bunkhouse, a “Tyranny” sign propped up at the refuge’s front gate and an improvised bunker dug out by the back gate of the refuge.
They also revealed handwritten notes they seized from the bunkhouse and elsewhere that described tactical training, formations and drills, guard duty schedules and individual assignments such as “rifleman” or “medic.”
FBI Special Agent Christopher Chew said he was the senior team leader, managing the search and seizure of evidence from Feb. 12 through Feb. 23. He said there were FBI evidence teams that helped Portland agents from Seattle, Salt Lake City, Denver and San Antonio.