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13 Oregon refuge occupiers agree to pay restitution totalling 78000

first_imgPORTLAND — Thirteen of the Oregon refuge occupation defendants who either pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge or were convicted at trial have agreed to pay a total of $78,000 to the government to compensate for the costs of the takeover and damage to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.Based on their culpability in the 41-day occupation of the federal wildlife sanctuary in eastern Oregon in early 2016, their restitution amounts differ from $3,000, $5,000, $7,000 and $10,000 a person.It’s a far cry from the estimated $6 million that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated the occupation cost the federal agency, of which $2 million resulted from paying to move the refuge’s 17 employees out of town for safety to live at government expense in hotels for weeks. The rest included costs to pay for repairs and upgrades. It’s also far short of the nearly $1 million figure the government initially floated for restitution, according to several of the defendants.Oregon’s U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams estimated last fall that the cost of the law enforcement response – from local, county and state police to the more than 1,000 FBI agents who cycled in from Portland and other cities during the refuge occupation – was just under $12 million.Jon Ritzheimer and Ryan Payne, who pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge, and Jason Patrick, who was convicted at trial of federal conspiracy and other misdemeanor offenses, each have agreed to pay $10,000 in restitution.last_img

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