A federal judge sentenced Jason Patrick to 21 months in prison Thursday for his part in a takeover of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016, The Oregonian reports.
Prosecutors sought a sentence more than twice as long, but U.S. District Judge Anna Brown was not convinced that Patrick was as important or prominent in the takeover as prosecutors tried to argue.
By the end of the trial, though, Brown was convinced that Patrick did not respect the law.
Patrick thinks “he’s entitled to choose which laws he follows and which laws he won’t,” Brown addressed the court, according to The Oregonian.
“Until you choose to understand there are lines you cannot cross … then nothing I say or do is going to change that,” Brown then told Patrick. “I don’t think any sentence in the world will deter you.”
Patrick was one of the first volunteers to join Ammon and Ryan Bundy, the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy who led an armed standoff against federal agents in 2014, when the brothers took over Malheur. The Bundys, Patrick and other took over the refuge for 41 days to protest the imprisonment of prison of two Oregon ranchers convicted of setting fire to public land.
The Bundys were acquitted for their part in the Oregon, and the trial against them for their part in the Nevada standoff with Cliven Bundy was recently dismissed “with prejudice,” preventing a retrial. Prosecutors are protesting the ruling, arguing the Bundys should be placed on trial again.
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