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Son of rancher in public land dispute arrested by BLM

Cliven Bundy on his ranch in northeast Clark County.
Cliven Bundy on his ranch in northeast Clark County.
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Updated: 4/07 6:56 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- A son of Mesquite rancher Cliven Bundy has been arrested by Bureau of Land Management rangers.

Dave Bundy was arrested at 4:30 p.m. Sunday as he was in a car parked along State Route 170 near Mesquite.

"He was there to do some filming when about 11 federal agents pulled up and arrested him," Clive Bundy told News 3. "They said he was outside of the First Amendment area and they took him down. We don't know where he is now."

The BLM confirmed the arrest in an emailed statement:

"An individual is in custody in order to protect public safety and maintain the peace," BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon wrote. "The individual has rights and therefore details about the arrest will not be disclosed until and unless charges are filed."

Cliven Bundy is embroiled in a dispute with the BLM and National Park Service over the court-ordered removal of his cattle from 1,200 square miles of northeast Clark County. The cattle have been grazing on public land for more than 20 years since his grazing permit was revoked in 1993.

Contracted cowboys removed 58 head of cattle Sunday in addition to the 75 impounded Saturday. The government's plan is to have all cattle removed within 30 days. 

Most of 600,000 acres of public land in the northeast part of the county has been temporarily closed to the public during the impound; the removal operation is being conducted by contracted cowboys from a company in Utah.

The First Amendment areas are designated by the government for people to express their free speech rights about the subject.

Small protests were held Saturday morning on one of the areas and another was held in Mesquite.

Earlier Saturday, one of Bundy's daughter's was "harassed" by five BLM rangers while she was parked along the same road. Bundy said they threatened to give Stephey Cox several tickets and take her to court.

He said Cox told the BLM rangers they did not have jurisdictional or arrest powers.

"But what was bad is there was a Nevada State Highway trooper within about a hundred feet of all this action and he didn't come to help her," Bundy said. "She said I will recognize his (the trooper's) jurisdictional authority if he would just come and tell me to move or whatever and he would not come and so they harassed her for quite awhile."

Bundy told News 3 that he hopes that Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie will step in and end the dispute and confiscation of his cattle.

"The federal government has no jurisdiction or authority here," Bundy said. "The sheriff has unlimited constitutional authority, arresting and policing powers and all he has to do is say no and this thing would be over. Those people would back out and move out of here."

Bundy said he was considering a possible lawsuit as another course of action.

He did not make any more physical threats such as he made Saturday, but he did compare the action to Ruby Ridge and Waco, Texas, where citizens were killed in confrontations with the federal goverment.

"They are the same agents who killed that kid over at Red Rocks," Bundy said, referring to the Feb. 14 fatal shooting of a 20-year-old by two BLM rangers.

In a Sunday afternoon news conference call, Lake Mead National Recreation Area spokeswoman Christie Vanover, said the government's hopes violence will be avoided.

"We support everyone's rights to express themselves lawfully and peacefully, but when threats are made that could jeopardize the safety of the American people, the contractor and our personnel, we have the responsibility to provide law enforcement to account for their safety."

Vanover said the cost of the impoundment action won't be know until the event is concluded. Some estimates have placed it as high as $3 million.


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