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October 25, 2014

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Metro investigating concerns over militia activity near Bundy ranch

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STEVE MARCUS

Jim (no last name provided) of Las Vegas, Reid Hendricks, center, of Camden, Tenn. and Ian Houston of Eugene, Ore. take up a position on a hill by Cliven Bundy’s ranch near Bunkerville Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Hendricks is a former Marine (honorably discharged), and has worked as a police officer and a high school history teacher, he said.

Metro Police say they are investigating concerns a U.S. congressman raised about actions of militia members in northeast Clark County, but they’re not saying much more about the situation surrounding Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy and his armed supporters.

In a letter Sunday to Sheriff Doug Gillespie, Rep. Steve Horsford, D-Nev., wrote that his constituents were concerned about Bundy supporters carrying weapons near local churches, schools and elsewhere. Horsford, whose congressional district includes the area, also said militiamen had set up checkpoints on public roads and highways where drivers were stopped and asked to provide a proof of residency.

Metro Police Sgt. Jesse Roybal said today the department had received Horsford’s letter, was aware of complaints and allegations and were “investigating each report. As of this time, there are no criminal charges in any of these cases.”

Pressed further, Roybal said police were trying to verify Horsford’s claims but Roybal was not certain to what extent that investigation had gone.

Roybal added the sheriff was "in contact with multiple people in elected office" regarding the matter.

If someone does encounter the claimed checkpoints or people with guns near churches or schools, Roybal also said, "they need to report it to (Metro)."

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who sits on Metro's Fiscal Affairs Committee, said he hadn't heard anything from Metro about Horsford’s concerns.

"I trust the sheriff to handle this," Sisolak added.

Militia members earlier this month flocked to Bundy’s ranch to support Bundy in his fight with the federal government over his refusal to pay fees for his cattle to graze on federal land.

Gillespie helped broker an end to a standoff between federal agents and militia members involving Bundy’s nonpayment of the grazing fees.

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