3 More Arrests Made in Occupation of Oregon Wildlife Refuge

Three men turned themselves in to authorities Wednesday.

January 28, 2016, 1:24 AM

— -- The FBI made three more probable cause arrests Wednesday in the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Wednesday morning, the FBI and Oregon State Police established a series of checkpoints at major roads in and around the refuge, after which a total of eight people left the refuge. Of those eight, the FBI released five and arrested three.

Duane Leo Ehmer, 45, and Dylan Wade Anderson, 34, were arrested at approximately 3:30 p.m. local time, according to an FBI statement. Jason S. Patrick, 43, was arrested at approximately 7:40 p.m.

All three men were in contact with the FBI and chose to turn themselves in to agents at a checkpoint located outside the refuge. Their arrests were reportedly without incident.

"Each man faces one federal felony count of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats," the FBI said.

The agency is working with local law enforcement to empty the refuge of the armed occupiers "in the safest way possible."

An undisclosed number of people are still occupying the refuge. Wednesday's three arrests are preceded by eight arrests Tuesday, including that of Ammon Bundy, who after a court hearing Wednesday asked remaining occupiers to turn themselves in.

While attempting to make one probable cause arrest on Tuesday, one man was killed in a shootout with police. Though officials have not identified the man, friends and relatives have publicly identified the deceased as Robert "LaVoy" Finicum.

"I'm disappointed that a traffic stop yesterday that was supposed to bring peaceful resolution to this ended badly," Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward said earlier Wednesday. "There doesn’t have to be bloodshed in our community."

According to Ward, the occupation has "been tearing our community apart."

An FBI official said the occupiers, whose group took control of the Malheur National Wildlife refuge earlier this month, have had "ample" opportunities to leave peacefully.