Todd Engle is a politica prisoner from Boundary County, Idaho, who was involved in the Bundy standoff. He was convicted and sentenced to prison for 14 years behind bars for his role in a Bunkerville standoff against federal authorities who were seizing Bundys’ cattle.
U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro, the same judge who threw out all the charges against Cliven Bundy and the sons, ordered Todd Engel to federal prison for his role in the April 2014 encounter during an impoundment of Bundy’s cattle on federal land. Prosecutors claimed Engel traveled to Bunkerville with the intent to commit violence against BLM officers who were executing a court order to round up Bundy cattle on federal land.
Engel, 51, was convicted in April 2017 while representing himself on charges of obstruction of justice and interstate travel in aid of extortion during the first of three trials in the case.
Prosecutors said Engel was wielding a loaded AR-15 rifle, hid behind barriers on Interstate 15 overpass bridge and blocked agents from going forward. Engel, on the other hand claimed he was standing on the highway bridge overlooking the impoundment and heard someone say that federal authorities “were pointing guns at people underneath the bridge.”
Markowitz said that “justice was not served” with Engel’s sentence.
“Todd is not the vile, hatred-filled individual the prosecution has painted,” the lawyer said. “He believed that he did what he was doing for the right reasons, and he believed that his participation was for the better good.”
Bundy, who owes more than $1 million in unpaid grazing fees and fines, has long contended the land on which he grazes his cattle should not be claimed by the federal government.
The one-day standoff ended with no injuries after BLM officers, under pressure to avert bloodshed on both sides, called off the roundup.