By CHERI ROBERTS for Challenging the Rhetoric
More details about Oregon Standoff participant Michael Emry have emerged in a government filing meant to stop Emry from winning release while awaiting trial on federal weapons charges. In May, self-styled journalist Michael Emry was denied pre-trial release, but on Friday, July 15, at 1:30pm PDT, Emry will once again go before the judge for a status hearing in the Federal District Court in Eugene, Oregon.
With the offer of a place to live and gainful employment, Emry hopes it will be enough to make the judge see things his way. However, the document reveals that Emry has confessed to the crimes in recorded jail callsand says,
“In the world of federal gun possession crimes, possessing an unregistered .50 caliber machine gun is among the most serious and dangerous. This is a gun with military, war-time capabilities. By Defendant’s own admissions, this machine gun could fire 550-650 rounds a minute. In the hands of someone with bad intentions, that many rounds of .50 caliber ammunition – as depicted by the representative .50 caliber round at the far left in the photo below – could be devastating.”
Emry is the owner of The Voice of Idaho (TVOI) an independent ‘media’ organization he founded as a propaganda arm for militias, particularly the Idaho’s Three Percent, a militia organization that was heavily involved in Burns, Oregon, and Harney County during the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon earlier this year. There are currently 26 co-defendants awaiting trial in the case.
According to the document, upon his initial arrival in Oregon, Emry stayed in a house in Burns, Oregon with Ammon Bundy, Ryan Payne, and other militants. Emery spent copious amounts of time in Burns as well as at the refuge during the Standoff.
Emry helped to create the Harney County Committee of Safety and admitted to agents that he traveled from Idaho to Oregon in late December 2015 in a van loaned to him by Ammon Bundy, a leader of the armed occupation.
According to The Rockland Times,
“[Emry] became involved with the Hammond family to guide and assist them and the citizens of Harney County in putting together a County Committee of Safety to include III% militia groups (111% refers to the 3 percent of colonists who fought in the American Revolution), who in turn would provide enforcement capabilities to a people’s grand jury.”
Emery spent his time in Burns as well as in and around the refuge. Unlike others who bunked together or flopped where they could at Malheur during the Standoff, Emry was said to have his own private sleeping quarters. He was sometimes seen passing out pocket Constitutions to FBI agents.
Authorities say on January 11, 2016, a Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy reported that Emry approached a checkpoint at the Tactical Operations Center at the Burns airport and told the Deputy that there was a .50 caliber belt-fed machine gun on the refuge.
They had perceived Emry’s statement about the machine gun as an attempt to intimidate them.
It is not yet clear whether Emry stole the gun while borrowing Bundy’s van, or if Bundy was aware of the machine gun and other weaponry. In several reports online and in social media, Emry had claimed to have only left Oregon once other than to attend the funeral of Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum, an occupier who was killed by Oregon State Police on January 26, the night Bundy and several others were arrested after a felony traffic stop en route to a meeting in John Day where they were to meet up with ‘Constitutional’ Sheriff, Glenn Palmer.
After the occupation was over, Emry and wife Becky Hudson made a permanent move to John Day living in a travel trailer parked at a Grant County campground while founding a second outlet of TVOI, establishing The Voice of Grant County (TVGC).
During the search, law enforcement found Emry to be in possession of a ‘Ma Deuce’ or Browning M2 .50 cal. fully automatic — and fully operational, machine gun, at least one belt of blank .50 caliber shells, a blasting cap for bombmaking and more.
Cell phones, computers, and other electronics were taken from the trailer along with other evidence.
One Oregon Standoff militant, Scotty Willingham, told The Oregonian that Emry was not at the refuge solely as a journalist, but instead was there for his “weapons expertise”.
Emry is currently facing federal charges for possession of a machine gun and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Emry considers himself to be the Picasso of machine guns and admitted that he “obliterated” the weapon’s serial number before bringing it across state lines. He has yet to be charged, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 5861(j), for transporting the gun, or pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d) for illegally possessing a destructive device – specifically, a blasting cap which is a detonator for a bomb; both of which constitute two more separate and potential additional criminal charges that could be added.
Prosecutors stated Emry also possessed the parts to manufacture another machine gun.
Just prior to the execution of the search warrant to seize the machine gun, the document says Emry was in negotiations to sell the machine gun to a person in Oregon that he was told was a felon and the captain of a Texas militia group. This person instead, was in fact, an undercover law enforcement officer. There were at least two confidential informants (CI) and/or sources (CS) who helped in the investigation as well.
A week after the arrest, YouTuber, Phillip Danny Sass, aka Professor Doom, published a video claiming Emry, had gotten into a heated exchange about weapons, on a conference call with 3-4 other people where he both admitted to stealing the weapon and destroying the serial number.
After Emry’s arrest, one CS was said to feel relieved telling authorities that, Darryl Thorn, one of the MNWR occupants who was charged with a different offense, had talked about the machine gun and wanted another occupier to help him retrieve it from Emry. Thorn also asked for training on how to use the .50 caliber rifle according to the memo.
U.S. prosecutors say one “cooperating witness” [acknowledged so far] in this case, who is believed by many to be Bundy’s bodyguard and a co-defendant in both Oregon and Nevada, Brain ‘Booda’ Cavalier, said Emry stated he wanted to take the machine gun onto the MNWR during the occupation,. Adding he could not because of the law enforcement presence. He/she also said that Emry had a large arsenal of weapons, access to grenades, and had spoken about shooting police officers; pointing out a bullet from the .weapon would penetrate the side of a police car and a Kevlar vest.
According to the government’s opposition filing, Emry’s release would put the community in danger and still considers him a flight risk. Citing United States v. Hir, 517 F.3d 1081, 1086 — 9th Cir. 2008, (see also 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g)) prosecutors affirm in order to determine whether pretrial detention is appropriate, the court is to consider four factors in making a ruling:
- the nature and circumstances of the offense charged;
- the weight of the evidence against the defendant;
- the history and characteristics of the defendant, including the person’s character, physical and mental condition, family and community ties, employment, financial resources, past criminal conduct, and history relating to drug or alcohol abuse; and
- the nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by the defendant’s release.
The motion filed by prosecutors included snippets of testimony from a 2004 Tennessee drug case, in which Emry testified that he illegally built 66 belt-fed machine guns for a Kansas friend’s weapons locker in the event of a civil revolt. Emry said his friend became increasingly “paranoid”and “radicalized”.
In addition to dozens of illegal machine guns, Emry also testified that he had also illegally made a silencer and a large bomb out of C-4 for a drug dealer, a man who’d hired him to initially repair car transmissions, in order to kill potential witnesses according to the testimony.
The Govt. said Emry’s bomb had the potential to blow up a room three times the size of a federal courtroom, leaving a crater in the center and blowing out every single wall, turning them to cinder.
Emry became a “cooperating” witness for the prosecution in the 2004 case and was never charged.
So far, it does not appear Emry is a cooperating witness in the Oregon case and some of his supporters have made threats not only to CIs and CWs in the case but also to journalists covering his and other related cases; as well as online followers of the story who did not support the January armed takeover.
Prosecutors say the quantity and significance of the anonymous threats have increased since Emry’s last detention hearing.
Vicky Davis, who writes for Emry’s TVOI, has pumped out multiple false reports claiming Emry was “set-up” and that evidence was “planted”. Davis and Emry’s wife Hudson have both also claimed Emry was innocent in the 2004 case in which he turned States evidence.
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