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New Indictment Alleges Damage To Burns Paiute Site

<p>Sean Anderson</p>

Courtesy of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office


Sean Anderson

A new indictment unsealed Wednesday confirms the fears of members of the Burns Paiute Tribe that militants damaged an archaeological site during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The new charge is against occupier Sean Anderson and another defendant whose name has been redacted, suggesting he or she may not be in law enforcement custody.

The indictment accuses Anderson and the unnamed defendant of using “heavy equipment” in a way that damaged “an archaeological site considered sacred to the Burns Paiute Tribe.” It did not go into any more detail.

The unnamed defendant in the case also faces charges for conspiracy and operating heavy equipment on the refuge.

In total, the superseding indictment levels five different charges. They include conspiracy to impede officers of the United States, possession of firearms in a federal facility, use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, theft of government property and depredation of government property.

The occupiers are in court in downtown Portland again Wednesday. Judge Anna Brown is expected to lay out more details on when and how the militants will be tried.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Anna Griffin