F.B.I. Agent Charged With Lying About Oregon Standoff Shooting
WASHINGTON – A member of the elite hostage rescue team F.B.I. Involved in a deadly clash last year with a major anti-government protester in Oregon has been charged with lying and obstruction charges, according to federal court documents.
The accusation of the agent, Joseph Astarita, 40, is a blow to the reputed hostage team that performs the most risky mission office in the United States and abroad.
M. Astarita was accused of lying to supervisors to shoot his gun in the effort to stop Finicum Robert, known to LaVoy, who died in an extension at a federally wildlife wildlife refuge January 2016 for.
Mr. Finicum led a small group of armed militants who were informed that federal lands were inadvertently removed farmers from the region and demanded that they be returned to local or private control.
M. Astarita pleaded not guilty to all charges Wednesday in Portland, Oregon, and pending appearances were issued. An F.B.I. The spokesman refused to discuss the case, but said M. Astarita had been assigned to administrative duties.
Text of the accusation against F.B.I. Officials accused of lying in Oregon
A member of the F.B.I elite hostage rescue team. Involved in a deadly clash last year with a prominent anti-government protester in Oregon has been charged with lying and obstruction charges, according to federal prosecutors.
Mr. Finicum protest against the Federal Ay wildlife refuge near Burns, Ore., January 2, 2016, where the challenge has resulted in a long period of stagnation with F.B.I. And local authorities.
When Mr. Finicum left the shelter to attend a meeting about several weeks later, the soldiers of the Oregon government and several members of the F.B.I. The team tried to stop their truck and another vehicle.
After Mr. Finicum’s truck collided with a snow bank, he fled and was shot dead by state soldiers after he appeared and tried to find a weapon.
Local investigators determined that the shooting was justified, but he suspected that one of the F.B.I. The officers tried to cover if it had been fired. The bullet shells were never recovered.
The films recorded by a passenger in Mr. Finicum’s van showed that two shots were fired after Mr. Finicum got out of the vehicle, one that rips his window. Authorities said the only person who fired shots – based on an analysis of surveillance videos and photographs – was an F.B.I. agent.
Prosecutors accused Mr. Astarita of misleading the Oregon authorities investigating the shooting.
Former team members were confused about why M. Astarita would not recognize the revolution he had made.
At worst, he said, he could be expelled from the team and reassigned. They said M. Astarita was relatively new to the team when it deployed in Oregon.
The hostage rescue team was formed in 1983. Its members undergo extensive training in close collaboration with military command units such as Navy SEALs and Army Delta Force in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The unit participated in the detention of terrorists in Libya in 2014, including a suspect in the attack on a US diplomatic complex in Benghazi.
In recent years, the team has participated in a number of rescue operations in Alabama, Georgia and Idaho. But the unit was also associated with deadly raids in 1990 in Waco, Tex., And Ruby Ridge, Idaho.