Armed civilians wait nearby as the Bundy family and their supporters gather together under the I-15 highway just outside of Bunkerville in order to confront the BLM and demand the release of their impounded cattle on April 12, 2014. (Jason Bean/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
FBI agents have opened a criminal investigation into the April 12 confrontation between Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy and his armed supporters and law enforcement authorities, Sheriff Doug Gillespie confirmed Thursday.
“Everyone anticipated that this would occur,” said Gillespie, who added he was interviewed by FBI agents on April 28. “I’ve said all along there has to be accountability for what took place on April 12.”
Before the standoff, Gillespie had tried to mediate the dispute between Bundy and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
FBI spokeswoman Bridget Pappas could not be reached for comment late Thursday.
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But Gillespie said the FBI is investigating allegations of threats and assaults on law enforcement officers who were at the scene of the confrontation.
He said agents expected to interview every law enforcement officer who was present during the April 12 showdown. That includes agents with the BLM and a slew of Las Vegas police officers who were there to keep the peace.
Among those interviewed within the past week were assistant sheriffs Joe Lombardo and Kevin McMahill, who were in charge of police officers at the scene of the disturbance.
The FBI investigation, Gillespie said, is in its early stages.
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