They think the “occupied” the vehicles, too? Obviously these guys are the low wattage bulbs in the lighting aisle at the WalMart.
On Friday afternoon, the Oregon State Police reportedly made their first arrest of a member of Ammon Bundy’s militia who’ve occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge since January 2. Kenneth Medenbach, 62, was nabbed by police after allegedly driving a federal vehicle to a local Safeway supermarket. The Crescent, Ore., resident has been charged with theft of two federal vehicles—both of which have reportedly been impounded. Mendenbach has previously been cited as a member of the Oregon militia.
The agency said police recovered two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service vehicles “previously reported” as stolen to the sheriff’s office.
A spokesman at law enforcement’s joint information center told NewsChannel 21 “the vehicles were reported stolen after the situation started” at the refuge.
OSP troopers and deputies from several county sheriff’s offices called in to help patrol the area responded to the scene.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is grateful for the quick actions from law enforcement,” said USFWS spokeswoman Megan Nagel. “We will continue to work with law enforcement to recover vehicles bought and paid for by the American people to care for their national wildlife refuge.”
A March 2014 article in The Bulletin said a La Pine-area property on U.S. Highway 97 had Medenbach, “known locally as the wood carver,” as its longtime tenant but had recently vacated the property.
He operates Chainsaw Creations in Crescent, according to a Website devoted to his work, including various carvings and cabins.
A 2002 book by Robert L. Snow called “Terrorists Among Us: The Militia Threat,” also included Medenbach, referring to him as “a member of the Oregon Militia” who had a number of confrontations with county officials regarding building codes on his five-acre property near La Pine. The book said Medenbach was building his dream home out of discarded refrigerators, water heaters and other such material.
“A ‘code’ is only a suggestion. It’s not a law,” he was quoted as saying, adding, “He subscribes to the legal theory that the courts have no authority over him because all judges belong to the state bar association, which he believes is unconstitutional.”
“I’m willing to pay the price for my convictions,” said Medenbach. “Someday, when the laws become too stringent, people will start waking up.”
Meanwhile, the community the group planned Friday night in Burns has been canceled after county officials denied them permission to hold it at the county-owned fairgrounds.
Travis Williams of the Harney County Safety Committee announced the cancellation Friday morning: “There is no meeting tonight.”
A spokesman for the group, Arizona rancher Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, said they are hoping to reset the meeting for Monday, if they can find a place to hold it.
Finicum acknowledged Friday that not everybody in Harney County wants the group there, adding, “But it’s not about the masses. It’s about the individual.”
Two weeks in, the group’s motives are unwavering: “This land must never be returned to the federal government,” Finicum told NewsChannel 21 during an interview Friday…More…