The Latest: Oregon standoff leader, his followers indicted

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Posted: Feb 03, 2016 5:50 PM
The Latest: Oregon standoff leader, his followers indicted

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on an armed group that took over buildings at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

A federal grand jury has indicted the leader of the armed standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge and his followers.

Federal prosecutor Geoff Barrow says the indictment involves the 11 people arrested so far "and others," perhaps a reference to the four holdouts still occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The indictment was sealed Wednesday afternoon, but Barrow says it would be made public within 24 hours.

Defense attorneys demanded that prosecutors immediately release the document, so they could know what charges their clients face. U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart denied the request.

The indictment scrapped preliminary hearings scheduled Wednesday for 10 of the defendants.

Most of them are behind bars, but two have been released to their homes.

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11:20 a.m.

The leader of the armed standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge and nine of his followers are due back in court.

Ammon Bundy and the others are scheduled for hearings in federal court Wednesday afternoon. They all face a felony conspiracy charge, accused of using intimidation to prevent federal officers from doing their work at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The maximum penalty is six years in prison.

Another person arrested in the case is in an Arizona jail.

The occupation began Jan. 2, with Bundy and others demanding the federal government turn public lands over to local control. While most of the activists have been arrested, four holdouts remain.

During the preliminary hearings Wednesday, prosecutors are expected to offer evidence to establish probable cause for the arrests.