The last four people occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge told Oregon Public Broadcasting that federal authorities are blocking outbound calls on their cell phones.
David Fry, one of the four remaining militants, said the FBI made it so the occupiers can’t make outgoing calls on their cellphones. Fry said he can receive incoming calls, but that the other three in the refuge appear unable to receive calls on their cellphones. The militants also said they’ve lost access to the internet.
Ardently anti-Semitic, Fry is one of the two participants at Malheur whose presence resonates with the long history of white supremacists in so-called ‘patriot’ militia groups. Yet as Oregon Public Broadcasting reports, Fry’s neo-Nazi ideology has been driven in part by childhood experiences with bullying over his Japanese mother.
“He was one of five people who wasn’t Caucasian at the school,” Bill Fry said. “With his brother being one of the other five.”
Yet, as David’s brother, Daniel Fry, went on to become a Marine like his father, David spent his time doing odd jobs at his father’s dental office, and getting in trouble for minor legal offenses.
Dating back to 2014, Fry’s online friendship with rancher LaVoy Finicum appears to be the catalyst for his involvement in the Malheur takeover, and Finicum’s shooting death in a confrontation with state police last week seems to have hardened Fry’s resolve. “We have new leaders with new plans,” he has told OPB, adding that he expects to die.
Ironically, Fry’s refusal to leave the refuge is hindering Ammon Bundy and other militants arrested during last week’s traffic stop operation on Highway 395 from being able to post bail. Fry has rejected Bundy’s jailhouse call for the remaining occupiers to “stand down.”
New information is also emerging about other holdouts. Sean Anderson, the man seen in a video last week declaring a “free-for-all Armageddon” and calling on other armed patriots to kill any law enforcement officers who try to prevent them from joining his small band of dead-enders, turns out to have a record of bullying and violence.
Daily Mail Online can reveal that there is an outstanding bench warrant on Anderson related to an August 2014 arrest.
He was charged with resisting an officer, possession of THC and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Wisconsin court records show Anderson was convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct in 1998, 2008 and 2009.
In 2002 he was arrested for battery and trespass during an incident which [his stepdaughter] Michelle recalls vividly.
She says Anderson broke in to the house where she was staying and beat up her roommate.
It would be easy to caricature these last holdouts as representative of the kind of people that Ammon Bundy and other militant ‘patriot’ leaders attract, and there is certainly some truth to the notion that militia activities draw upon criminal elements of society. Neil Sigurd Wampler, a convicted murderer who was identified at Malheur in mid-January, is another good example of the phenomenon.
But Fry and Anderson are still at Malheur today because they were left behind when their leaders traveled to a community meeting, suggesting that neither man was considered an important part of the group or an acceptable face for the uprising.
“I think I make some of the guys nervous here because of the bad things people are saying about me,” Fry reportedly told Finicum in mid-January. The 27-year old also has a record of petty crime:
“He’s had his problems, some of which he’s brought on himself,” his paternal grandfather, William Fry, told OPB. “He gets pulled over for busted taillights, and instead of just rolling down his window and handing over his insurance, he screams at the officer, ‘What the [expletive] do you want?’ And right there, a regular thing turns into him in handcuffs.”
As the FBI continues to tighten their grip on the refuge, Anderson and Fry may see death as the only avenue of escape from potential imprisonment, and their angry refusals to surrender can be understood as a form of suicidal ideation. If they believe that their deaths in a hail of gunfire will hasten the ‘patriot’ dream of nationwide insurgency against a ‘tyrannical’ federal government, then any move to storm the facility will only result in further bloodshed.
Their willingness to hold out thus boils down to two factors: food and fuel. Unable to resupply themselves with fresh snacks or refuel their generator, the final four militants may capitulate when they are hungry, cold, and bored enough. That’s the outcome the FBI clearly hopes to achieve — and that the surrounding community desperately needs.