Jerry Delemus

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Two men have pleaded guilty in Las Vegas to federal charges in an armed confrontation with U.S. officials over grazing rights near cattleman Cliven Bundy's ranch.

Gerald "Jerry" DeLemus and Blaine Cooper each admitted Thursday they conspired with others who engaged with Bundy in the tense gunpoint standoff in April 2014 about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

DeLemus, of Rochester, New Hampshire, also pleaded guilty to interstate travel in aid of extortion.

Cooper, of Humboldt, Arizona, also pleaded guilty to assault on a federal officer.

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Two defendants are set to become the first to plead guilty in Nevada to federal charges stemming from an armed confrontation with U.S. land management agents near Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's ranch in 2014.

Gerald "Jerry" DeLemus of New Hampshire is expected to enter his plea Tuesday.

Blaine Cooper of Arizona is due in court Thursday.

In court filings, U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro says she has signed plea agreements from the two men.

Attorneys for both defendants say they can't talk about the pleas until after they're entered.

Josh Rogers, NHPR

A New Hampshire man has pleaded not guilty in federal court in Las Vegas to criminal charges stemming from an armed confrontation that stopped government agents from rounding up cows near Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy's ranch two years ago.

Josh Rogers, NHPR

Federal Magistrate Andrea Johnstone heard from prosecutors, who argued that Jerry DeLemus brought a 50 caliber sniper rifle to Nevada, took part in armed patrols and wrote on Facebook that he would die to defend the Bundys.  

Johnstone also heard from DeLemus’s defense lawyer, who called him “law abiding,”  “peaceful” and no flight risk.

Several witnesses testified as well. GOP state lawmakers Warren Groen and David Bates told the court DeLemus is a man of his word, a devout Christian, a  “patriot” and a ‘peacemaker.”

Josh Rogers, NHPR

Several hundred gun rights supporters, some carrying rifles and pistols, rallied Thursday outside the State House.

Rally organizers were collecting signatures for a petition telling Governor Hassan and New Hampshire  lawmakers to nullify federal gun control laws.

The petition is blunt: it says N.H. public officials are “duty bound” to declare void all federal gun limits that don’t comport with the constitution. Jerry Delemus organized the rally and leads the Rocheter 9/12 group.