All Sections

Home | Politics

DeLemus supporters sing 'God Bless America' at NH court appearance

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 03. 2016 11:09AM
This screengrab shows Jerry DeLemus in Bunkersville, Nev., just after the Cliven Bundy standoff in 2014. (YouTube)

Federal agents have arrested Jerry DeLemus, a local Tea Party leader who stood with Cliven Bundy's armed resistance at his ranch in Nevada in 2014, in connection with the standoff and alleged assault.

DeLemus is facing nine federal charges based on an indictment brought in Nevada, including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, threatening a federal law enforcement officer, assault on a federal officer, obstruction of justice, attempting to impede or injure a federal law enforcement officer, interference with interstate commerce by extortion, and several firearms charges, according to court records.

At a court appearance Thursday afternoon in Concord, an overflow crowd of DeLemus supporters forced officials to move the proceedings to a larger room on the third floor of the courthouse. Supporters broke out in applause as DeLemus was led into the courtroom; he turned to blow them kisses.

The 64-page indictment cites DeLemus as one of eight defendants who "planned, organized, led, and/or participated as gunmen in the assault, all in order to threaten, intimidate, and extort the officers into abandoning approximately 400 head of cattle that were in their lawful care and custody."

Court papers describe DeLemus as a "mid-level leader and organizer of the conspiracy," who recruited, organized, trained and gave logistical support to gunmen and followers.

He is alleged to have been a leader and organizer of armed patrols and security checkpoints on the Nevada ranch.

DeLemus first traveled from New Hampshire to Nevada on April 10, 2014.

The indictment stems from the massive armed assault against federal law enforcement officers in and around Bunkerville, Nev., on April 12, 2014, which court records refer to as a conspiracy to thwart the seizure and removal of Cliven Bundy’s cattle from federal public lands.

Bundy was under a federal court order to remove his cattle from the public lands since 1998.

Two more court orders came in 2013, which led to an impoundment process, armed standoff and alleged assault.

The crowd sang "God Bless America" Thursday as DeLemus was led out of the courtroom. Supporters held hands and joined in prayer just outside the door to courtroom 4, before declaring "Tyranny has come to New Hampshire" and "This is not my America."

View the indictment against Jerry DeLemus and others below:

State Rep. Susan DeLemus, R-Rochester, confirmed that FBI agents arrested her husband Thursday morning. Fighting back tears, she told the Union Leader that was all she would say about the arrest at this point.

Jack Kimball, a former state GOP chairman and a Tea Party leader, wrote on social media that DeLemus said the FBI agents forced their way into his condo with weapons drawn.

DeLemus is also a co-chairman for Veterans for Donald Trump in New Hampshire.

U.S. District Court Judge Andrea Johnstone said a detention hearing will be held for DeLemus on Monday at 2:30 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Concord. Attorneys for both sides said they were not ready to proceed any further Thursday.

DeLemus is being represented, at the moment, by attorney Jonathan Saxe. Saxe said DeLemus’ wife has contacted attorney Evan Nappen, who was unable to attend Thursday’s proceedings.

"This a very limited hearing today," said Saxe, who was appointed by the court to represent DeLemus. "It’s just to transfer him to the district of Nevada. Once he gets to Nevada he will either hire a lawyer or have another lawyer appointed out there. One of the reasons why we continued this here today was because if he is going to hire a lawyer, he wants that lawyer to be here."

Saxe said the only issue in contention at the moment is whether or not DeLemus gets detained.

"He has a right to a detention hearing, either in this district or that district," Saxe said. "The only question is where he wants it held. There are benefits to both — he has all this support here, but some feel it’s better to have it in the charging district. That will be his decision."


Newsletter Signup

Market Fair and Militia Muster
Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.

Harvest Music Festival
Saturday, 4-9 p.m.

The Enchanted Forest
Friday-Saturday, 5 - 9 p.m.

Livingston Taylor
Saturday, 8 p.m.