The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials say they agree with a Nevada sheriff’s position that rancher Cliven Bundy must be held accountable for his role in the standoff between his supporters and the federal agency.
Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said Bundy crossed the line when he allowed states’ rights supporters, including self-proclaimed militia members, onto his property to aim guns at police.
“If you step over that line, there are consequences to those actions,” Gillespie told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “And I believe they stepped over that line. No doubt about it. They need to be held accountable for it.”
Bureau spokeswoman Celia Boddington, in a statement released Saturday to The Associated Press, said the agency continues to pursue the matter “aggressively through the legal system,” Yahoo news reported.
“There is an ongoing investigation and we are working diligently to ensure that those who broke the law are held accountable,” she said, declining to elaborate.
Gillespie blamed the bureau for escalating the conflict at the Bundy ranch and ignoring his advice to delay the roundup after he had a confrontational meeting with Bundy’s children a few weeks before it began.
“I came back from that saying, ‘This is not the time to do this,’ “ the sheriff told the Review-Journal. “They said, ‘We do this all the time. We know what we’re doing. We hear what you’re saying, but we’re moving forward.'”
Tensions escalated even further early in the roundup after a video showed one of Bundy’s sons being stunned with a Taser multiple times. The video drew militia members and others to Bundy’s ranch in a show of support.