Questions and Quiet Surround Unexpected Pre-trial Release of Oregon Standoff Co-defendant Jason Patrick

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By CHERI ROBERTS for Challenging the Rhetoric

Many following pre-trial hearings for 26 co-defendants named in a superseding indictment for conspiracy to impede federal employees during the 41-day heavily armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) outside of Burns, Oregon earlier this year, were surprised today upon news that U.S. District Judge, Robert E. Jones, granted pre-trial release to Jason Patrick.

Patrick will not be tried with co-defendants at the September 7 trial and instead will be scheduled for trial sometime in August. Patrick is the seventh co-defendant to win pre-trial release so far.

Today’s hearing was scheduled to determine where standoff leader Ammon Bundy would be housed, in addition to considerations for increased communication privacies for Bundy brother Ryan. It was also a status hearing for Patrick who had been gunning for a new release hearing for the past 3-weeks or so.

Patrick’s release creates speculation as to whether he is negotiating a plea deal for Oregon and what that could mean. There is plenty Patrick has to lose outside of his case in Oregon.

At least one of Patrick’s co-defendants, that took a plea, Bundy bodyguard  Brian ‘Booda’ Cavalier, is said to be cooperating with federal prosecutors in the Oregon case. He is expected to do the same for charges in Nevada.

Whether a second or third militant, Scotty Willingham and Blaine Cooper, formerly known as Stanley Hicks, has turned over any evidence is still unknown. Much mystery still surrounds Willingham’s arrest and Cooper’s recent plea deal for Oregon and active negotiations for Nevada are telling to many on all sides. Cooper has an extensive criminal history under his belt.

Patriot supporters claim Cooper was threatened with additional charges for his involvement in the May, 2015 Sugar Pine mine standoff. According to Patrick’s Facebook page, he too was  at Sugar Pine and made video footage.

Supporters and family members of Patrick’s and others have mostly stayed quiet since last week’s news of Cooper’s plea deals. Little has yet to be expressed today regarding Patrick ‘s release outside of a few “Amens” and a posted sense that their prayers are being answered. Are they merely being conservative in their celebration for once or are they managing expectations and suspicions of what further details are to come?

Patrick is still facing felony terror charges  in Georgia. A top expert on domestic extremism, Forbes contributor JJ MacNab, said Patrick had an active warrant for his arrest as of last December prior to the armed takeover at Malheur.

The exact status of the Georgia warrant is currently unknown, however, long-time staff writer for The Oregonian, Maxine Bernstein, who has been covering the Bundy militia hearings, confirmed Patrick’s Georgia troubles were indeed not over and as part of his release he was given permission to travel to Georgia in order to deal with them.

The Georgia charges are in large part why so many interested onlookers were gobstruck upon hearing the news that Patrick would be released. Of Patrick’s unresolved Georgia indictment, MacNab shed some light,

Why would Patrick not be automatically transferred from Oregon to Georgia in order to face last years charges there? That is the big question swirling on social media.

Has he entered into an as yet unpublicized plea arrangement with U.S Prosecutors in Oregon in exchange for help with the more severe charges against him in Georgia?

If so, Patrick would be a wealth of information that could be used against others in both the Oregon and Nevada standoffs.

Several co-defendants in Oregon are also facing federal charges in Nevada stemming from the 2014 Bunkerville Bundy Ranch Standoff with BLM and other law enforcement authorities. Patrick is not one of the 19 total on that Grand Jury indictment although he too was a participant. Patrick, a Georgia Three Percent militia man, was often seen dressed in business clothes versus camouflage,  acting as a sovereign citizen diplomat of sorts for the Bundys during the January takeover of MNWR and at Bunkerville.

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10 responses to “Questions and Quiet Surround Unexpected Pre-trial Release of Oregon Standoff Co-defendant Jason Patrick

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  2. Welp looks like the dominoes are starting to fall. Ryan bring the Payne is going to plead out in Oregon case. Ammon gotta be pretty pissed about that if he knows.

    Liked by 1 person

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