Helena, Mont. • The last named defendant in the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge was still at large Tuesday, drawing calls for supporters to flock to his Montana hometown and a local sheriff to urge outsiders to stay of it.
Supporters of the 41-day standoff this winter over U.S. land restrictions used social media to rally behind Jake Ryan, urging the sheriff to resist federal efforts to apprehend him and for people to head to the small northwestern town of Plains to pray with Ryan’s family.
Sanders County Sheriff Tom Rummel, trying to head off any new armed conflicts, warned standoff supporters to stay away during negotiations for Ryan’s arrest.
“There is no standoff, and I want to keep it that way,” Rummel told The Associated Press. “I don’t need anybody showing up in my county that’s only going to add tension to the situation.”