The FBI went to extraordinary measures in their investigation of the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff, defense attorneys claim.
The documentary film crew representing “Longbow Productions” who were so interested in interviewing Ammon Bundy and others involved in the April 2014 standoff near the Bundy ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada were actually undercover FBI agents, according to several attorneys. The company reportedly does not appear to be licensed in Nevada.
Attorney Chris Rasmussen, who represents radio talk show host Peter Santilli, charged that the undercover “film crew” conducted the interviews of several defendants to try to get admissions out of them before they were charged.
An attorney for Ammon Bundy, Dan Hill, said Ammon was interviewed for several hours by the film crew, months before he and his father, Cliven Bundy and others were charged.
In March 2016, 19 defendants were charged with “conspiring to assault BLM agents on April 12, 2014, and to take back the impounded Bundy cattle that had been grazing on federal land.” Seventeen of the defendants are scheduled to stand trial February 6, 2017, while two already pleaded guilty.
The Review Journal reported:
“I believe that the FBI was pretending to be members of the news media in order to have lengthy conversations with Ammon and others,” Hill said. “Ammon has nothing to hide, but I still find it troublesome that the FBI would sink to that tactic.”
Another defense lawyer, Jess Marchese, said his client Eric Parker gave the company a 90-minute interview in Idaho, where he lives.
“From everything that I’ve seen, it’s my belief that Longbow Productions was the FBI,” Marchese said. “I know that there were interviews with some of the other defendants. It was definitely unique, but I don’t think it’s overly harmful to my client because his recitation of the facts has always been the same.”
Parker posted on Facebook in August 2014 that a member of Longbow Productions told him the company was making a documentary about the standoff and wanted his opinion about it.
“I was told that the Bundys were working with them and have given interviews for it,” Parker said in the post. “If I could have that confirmed, I would feel better about talking to them.”
Natalie Collins, a spokeswoman for the Nevada U.S. attorney’s office, would not comment Friday on Longbow Productions.
“We cannot comment on pending litigation,” she said.
FBI spokesman Huston Pullen also declined to comment.
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