Mar 3, 2016 11:57 AM
ROCHESTER - Gerald A. "Jerry" DeLemus, a tea party activist and co-chair of Veterans for Trump, was arrested Thursday during an FBI raid.
DeLemus was indicted by a grand jury on multiple counts connected to his involvement with Cliven Bundy in Nevada, where a group of armed men engaged with federal officials to take back cattle that had been seized for grazing illegally on public lands in 2014. The clash involved about 200 people, including armed snipers.
DeLemus faces nine charges including conspiracy to commit an offense against the U.S., conspiracy to impede and injure a federal officer, assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal law enforcement officer, use and carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and obstruction of the due administration of justice.
Bundy was accused of trespassing on public lands, letting his herds of cattle graze near Bunkerville, Nev. without obtaining the legally required permits or paying the required fees for more than 20 years. According to the indictment, Bundy ignored four court orders to remove his cattle. The insurrection led by Bundy and his followers stemmed from the impoundment of about 400 animals by federal officials on April 5, 2014.
DeLemus is identified in the indictment as a "mid-level leader and organizer of the conspiracy, who among other things: recruited, organized, trained and provided logistical support to gunmen and other followers and organized and led armed patrols and security checkpoints."
More recently, DeLemus traveled to Oregon where he worked with Ammon Bundy, who set up an armed occupation of a nature preserve there. The arrest and indictment released Thursday do not reflect those events.
Facebook friends of DeLemus took to the social media site reacting angrily to the man's arrest.
"A true Patriot and great man Jerry DeLemus has been taken by the evil regime government at gun point for being a Patriot and no other reason!" wrote Gina Marie Rayeski, subsequently calling for supporters to "stand against this outrage."
A GoFundme page also was set up by a Texas supporter to raise money to help DeLemus.
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