PORTLAND — A judge is taking action against two men who took part in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside Burns after Facebook photos showed they violated their release conditions by visiting the Bundy ranch in Nevada without permission.
U.S. District Judge Anna Brown has moved up Jon Ritzheimer’s date to surrender to prison from Feb. 15 to Jan. 12.
Brown ordered Montana militia leader Ryan Payne to return to home detention in Las Vegas.
She also forbade Ritzheimer from having contact with any defendant from either the Oregon or Nevada standoff cases before his prison sentence begins.
Payne received a similar order.
The two men have pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy in the armed occupation of the refuge in southeastern Oregon in 2016.
Payne also faces other federal charges in Nevada along with Cliven Bundy and sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy.
The photos of Payne and Ritzheimer at the ranch, located east of Las Vegas, were discovered by a federal pretrial services officer in Oregon who notified Brown.
The photos were posted on Ritzheimer’s Facebook page.
Ritzheimer had a “no-travel restriction” on his Oregon release that only allowed him to travel from Arizona to Oregon to attend court.
Ritzheimer is also banned from posting on Facebook except to promote his motorcycle repair business.
He was given permission to stay at an Airbnb rental in Las Vegas in late December to celebrate his wedding anniversary, according to court documents.
After a mistrial in Nevada, Brown gave Payne permission to go home to Montana for Christmas.
Neither of the men was allowed to go to the ranch.
“I am concerned that defendants have taken advantage of this court’s release accommodations in their favor,” Brown wrote in an email obtained by The Oregonian newspaper.
Brown decided to deal with the allegations informally instead of through formal proceedings.