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Judge: Facebook Evidence Will Be Allowed In Refuge Trial

<p>Ammon Bundy, one of the leaders of the armed occupation in Harney County, Oregon, talks with occupiers at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.</p>

Kristian Foden-Vencil

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Ammon Bundy, one of the leaders of the armed occupation in Harney County, Oregon, talks with occupiers at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

A federal judge has ruled that evidence federal law enforcement gathered from Facebook will be allowed into the September trial for those accused of conspiring to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

In oral arguments this week, defense lawyers argued evidence the FBI gathered from Facebook should be suppressed in the upcoming trial. Defendants argued that the judge who granted the search warrant didn't have jurisdiction and that the search was overly broad.

But U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown, the trial judge in the case, disagreed. In a ruling late Wednesday, Brown wrote "the Court concludes the Warrant was not overbroad, was supported by probable cause, and was executed properly by the government."

So far, nine defendants named in the superseding inducement have pleaded guilty to conspiring to prevent federal employees from doing their jobs at the refuge near Burns, Oregon.

The trial is scheduled to start Sept. 7.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Conrad Wilson