Los Osos man facing federal conspiracy charges
February 13, 2016
A federal judge at a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles denied bail Friday for a Los Osos man who participated in the armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon. Neil Wampler is to be extradited to Oregon to face a federal conspiracy charge.
On Wednesday evening, the FBI arrested Wampler, 68, at his Los Osos home during a sweep in which federal agents rounded up protesters who participated in the armed occupation.
Wampler, 68, is charged with a single felony count of conspiracy to impede officers from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats.
Authorities have indicted at least 25 participants in the occupation, each of whom face the charge of conspiring to impede federal officers.
In January, Wampler drove to Oregon from the Central Coast to join the occupation. He served as a camp cook at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
On Jan. 26, the FBI stopped a two-vehicle convoy that included Nevada resident Ammon Bundy and other leaders of the occupation. Agents shot and killed Robert “LaVoy” Finicum during an ensuing confrontation.
Most of the remaining protesters then left the refuge after hearing they would not be arrested if they took off quickly. Wampler had left earlier to spend time with his family in Los Osos.
The final four occupiers of the refuge surrendered to federal agents Thursday morning.