Energy & Environment

Judge dismisses charges against Cliven Bundy, orders him freed from prison

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A federal judge on Monday dismissed the charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a militia member for their role in a 2014 standoff with federal officers.

Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the charges against the men “with prejudice,” meaning they can’t be put on trial again, The Arizona Republic reported. She said the conduct of prosecutors in the case had been “outrageous” and violated due process rights.

Navarro also ordered Bundy be released from prison.

{mosads}Navarro last month declared a mistrial in the criminal conspiracy case against Bundy and his sons, saying federal prosecutors had improperly withheld evidence that could have changed the outcome of the trial.

A new trial date had been set for next month, but Navarro ruled Monday that a new trial would provide the prosecution with an unfair advantage, according to The Arizona Republic.

The ruling comes after four ranch hands were found not guilty of conspiracy, assault of a federal officer and multiple weapons charges in the standoff, which was part of an effort to stop a government-sanctioned cattle roundup on federal land. 

The Bureau of Land Management said Bundy owed more than $1 million in grazing fees on the land and had ignored several court orders to remove his cattle. Bundy said he did not recognize the government’s authority to levy the fees. 

Armed supporters from across the country came to back Bundy and defend the ranch from law enforcement officers’ attempts to remove the cattle. 

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