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First prison term imposed in Bunkerville standoff case

A New Hampshire man who, in 2014, gathered his guns and drove across the country to join rancher Cliven Bundy’s armed stand against federal agents was sentenced Wednesday to 87 months in prison.

Gerald DeLemus, 62, was an active member of the Veterans for Trump campaign and one of hundreds of individual rights activists who responded when the Bunkerville rancher asked for support against federal agents who were trying to seize his cattle from public lands.

DeLemus said before the sentencing that regardless of his prison term, he would do it all again.

“But I would leave my guns at home,” he said.

DeLemus was one of 19 men indicted in connection with the armed standoff that occurred between the federal Bureau of Land Management agents and armed protesters on April 12, 2014. He was one of only two men charged who decided not to take his case to trial. He pleaded guilty in August to one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and one count of interstate travel in aid of extortion.

Federal prosecutors requested a prison sentence of 87 to 100 months for DeLemus, who initially was charged with 10 counts for his role in the armed standoff.

Prosecutors have described him as one of the gunmen who provided the firepower in a “massive armed assault” against the federal government. DeLemus did not arrive in Bunkerville in time for the standoff itself. He stayed in town for a month and headed an “armed patrol” of the Bundy family ranch following the confrontation with federal agents.

Defense attorney Dustin Marcello requested a sentence of 22 months. He said DeLemus brought his weapons to defend himself and to protect the Bundy family if federal agents started using force.

DeLemus is married to Susan DeLemus, a former New Hampshire state representative. He previously was a Republican National Committee delegate. The court recommended he serve his sentence in a prison in either Massachusetts or New Hampshire to be closer to his wife.

“I thought it was the most harsh sentence that she could possibly muster to give him,” Susan DeLemus said.

His sentence was the first handed out to any of the men charged in the Bunkerville standoff case. Two more men have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing. One other has pleaded guilty.

Contact Jenny Wilson at jenwilson@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710. Follow @jennydwilson on Twitter. Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

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