A federal judge sentenced Gregory Burleson, 53, of Phoenix to 68 years in prison Wednesday for his role in the Nevada standoff between rancher Cliven Bundy’s band and federal authorities, the Associated Press reports.
Prosecutors pushed for the maximum sentence of 73 years for Burleson, but Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro took five years off because of Burleson’s health and his past role as an informant for the FBI.
“Yes, I was down in the wash,” Burleson told Navarro, according to the Associated Press. “I did not go with the intention of killing anybody or assaulting anybody. It wasn’t a planned tactical assault as the government says we did.”
Burleson is the first of 17 defendants arrested in relation to the Bundy case to be convicted and sentenced. He was found guilty of threatening and assaulting federal officers, traveling across state lines in aid of extortion, and obstruction of justice, Reuters reports.
Four other men involved in the standoff were granted a mistrial after the jury deadlocked and will be retried.
Two others plead guilty separately, landing one with a seven-year prison term. The other will be sentenced in January, Reuters reports.
Cliven Bundy and his sons are still awaiting trial.
The standoff began when Cliven Bundy and his sons prevented federal authorities from carrying out a court ordered roundup of Bundy’s cattle. The Nevada rancher had let his cattle illegally graze on public lands for more than 20 years.
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