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18 Mar, 2016 16:15

‘Bundy gang’ member arrested for threatening to shoot federal cops

‘Bundy gang’ member arrested for threatening to shoot federal cops

A member of the “Bundy gang”, which occupied a federal government office in Oregon for 40 days earlier this year, has been arrested for threatening to shoot law enforcement officers.

Scott A. Willingham said he would carry out the threat if he was not arrested for his role in the stand-off, according to the district attorney’s office.

The 49 year old was arrested Wednesday after he told a Grant County sheriff’s deputy that if he wasn’t jailed that day, he would "start shooting federal law enforcement officers" the next morning.

At the time of his arrest at a motel in Mount Vernon, Willingham was in possession of a semi-automatic rifle with 230 rounds of .308-caliber ammunition, according to Grant County District Attorney Jim Carpenter.

He was arrested on allegations of unlawful use of a weapon, a felony, and second-degree disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor and is being held on a $35,000 bail.

At his arraignment, Willingham said he wanted to be jailed in Grant County, Oregon while he waited arrest for his role in the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The group initially led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy, sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, was heavily armed and possessed explosives when they began their protest against the federal government’s treatment of two local ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, on January 2.

READ MORE: Oregon protesters plead not guilty in armed standoff case

Federal officials would not confirm if Willingham had been or will be indicted for the occupation, according to The Oregonian.

Willingham, who described himself as an unemployed musician, told The Oregonian in February that he arrived at the refuge on January 2 and worked on the security detail, assisting in the removal of security cameras.

He claimed he was being “groomed” for a leadership role in the occupation.

Willingham left the stand-off after the Bundy brothers were arrested and Robert “LaVoy” Finicum was shot dead by police. He said he returned to the stand-off to help assist with talking the remaining occupiers into surrendering.

Cliven Bundy, who led a 2014 stand-off with federal agents in Nevada, was denied release from jail Thursday.

The Judge said Bundy ignored federal court orders before and was not convinced the rancher would comply if he were freed.