North Carolina man pleads guilty in Oregon refuge case


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man who traveled across the country to participate in the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge has pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge.

Jason Blomgren of Murphy, North Carolina, is the fourth person to plead guilty in the takeover that began Jan. 2 and lasted 41 days. The protesters led by Ammon Bundy wanted the federal government to relinquish control of Western lands.

Appearing Thursday at U.S. District Court in Portland, the 42-year-old Blomgren admitted that he performed guard duty at the refuge and prevented federal employees from doing their jobs. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped a weapons charge.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 14. Prosecutors recommend six months of home detention.

Twenty-two other defendants continue to prepare for trial.

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