BUNKERVILLE, Nev. (KLAS/CNN) – A cattle round-up on public property has sparked a stand-off between militia members and federal agents.
A rancher, who the Bureau of Land Management says has been grazing his cattle on federal grounds illegally for decades, is receiving protection from the militia.
These self-described militia men say they took an oath to protect.
“When you pledge your life and your fortune, you’re prepared to give it up,” Bobby Bridgewater said.
But an atmosphere of uncertainty now surrounds the Bundy Ranch.
These guards can’t be entirely sure.
“You don’t know until you actually catch somebody,” Bridgewater said.
But they say it’s entirely possible federal agents are now among them, posing as fellow militia.
“It’s always something that we’re always thinking about,” Bridgewater said.
These men are here to protect Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy’s family.
Bundy has allowed his cattle to graze illegally public lands for 20 years, and the feds started rounding them up three weeks ago. But stopped after armed protesters interfered.
Supporters took his cattle back from a federal holding pen. But, Militia continue to guard him and these hills 24 hours a day.
For former Bundy guard Frank Lindysthe, that’s very troubling.
“They are now calling for militia. They’re not in dug in positions. They are sitting on top of ridges. They don’t have night vision capability,” Lindysthe said.
Lindysthe left the ranch in the middle of the night after at least two men tried joining the guard who he says made him uncomfortable.
“The people that are up there, they have a certain look about them. These are military. My belief is federal agents,” Lindysthe said.
Lindysthe feels these alleged federal agents are there to gather intel on militia members, and eventually conduct a raid.
“They’re dirty. They’re dirty,” Lindysthe said.
But despite this belief, these militia show no signs of leaving and many say they’re ready to die fighting.