Cliven Bundy, sons free after federal case is dismissed

A federal judge has ruled that prosecutors committed “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct" in their effort to prosecute Cliven Bundy. The judge has forbidden the government from refiling case. (Sketches by Stewart Freshwater)

The federal case against Cliven Bundy and his sons Ryan and Ammon is over.

Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the case after finding there had been “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct,” she said this morning, from the bench.

The case started to unravel shortly after the start of the trial in November.

Prosecutors were alleging that Cliven and his sons manufactured claims that their ranch had been surrounded by snipers, as a way to enlist supporters to come to their defense.

A motion filed by Ryan Bundy, who represented himself, resulted in the surprise revelation that FBI did have the ranch surrounded by snipers.

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It’s evidence that wasn’t disclosed, as required, during discovery.

Judge Navarro told prosecutors that their performance fell below the professional standard for the legal profession.

“There has been flagrant prosecutorial misconduct in this case,” she said.

The judge dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning the government can’t refile charges.

Judge Navarro said it was the court’s duty to “police ethical misconduct by prosecutors.”

Cliven Bundy has been in federal custody for two years and walked out of federal court with his sons Ryan and Ammon.

A fourth defendant, Ryan Payne, remains in federal custody.

Payne is being transported to Oregon where he’ll be sentenced for his role in the takeover of a federal wildlife refuge.

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