Thorn seeks appeal of 18-month sentence

Participated in standoff at Malheur Wildlife Refuge

Darryl Thorn, 33, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his involvement in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016.                                Multnomah County Sheriff/Courtesy

Darryl Thorn, 33, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his involvement in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016. Multnomah County Sheriff/Courtesy

BREMERTON — A Bremerton man imprisoned for crimes related to the occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge in 2016 is appealing his conviction.

Darryl Thorn was initially offered the option to plead guilty to trespassing, a misdemeanor, for his involvement in the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Princeton, Oregon.

Despite many of the participants avoiding prison time through plea deals, Thorn chose instead to go to trial on charges of conspiracy to impede federal employees through force, threats and intimidation; carrying a firearm in a federal facility; trespassing; and multiple counts of tampering with vehicles and equipment.

On Nov. 21, 2017, Thorn was convicted of all but one of the tampering charges and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. On Dec. 4, Thorn filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. According to court documents, Thorn is scheduled to file an opening brief on March 2.

On Jan. 8, a federal judge in Nevada threw out the case against the Bundy family, who incited the Malheur occupation with the help of social media. The occupation stemmed from the family’s dispute with the Bureau of Land Management over the use of federal land for grazing; BLM seized livestock belonging to Cliven Bundy, saying Bundy had not paid grazing fees.

Bundy’s sons, Ammon and Ryan, were also charged with conspiracy for their involvement in the occupation but in October 2016 a jury voted to acquit them of all charges — excepting a charge of theft against Ryan Bundy for removing security cameras from the refuge.

— Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. Contact him at ntwietmeyer@soundpublishing.com.

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