By STANDOFF REPORTER for OregonStandoffTrials.com
It is believed that 43-year old Brian ‘Booda’ Cavalier is a cooperating witness for the federal government providing information on the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) that occurred earlier this year. He is 1 of 26 who were charged with a conspiracy in the 41-day occupation more commonly referred to as the Oregon Standoff.
It is still unknown at what point Cavalier began cooperating with authorities.
Was it after his January 26 arrest on Oregon’s highway 395 in route to John Day with occupation leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy, Ryan Payne, Shawna Cox and the now deceased, LaVoy Finicum?
Or, was it before that, while the occupation was in full swing?
A few days into the takeover, the Daily Mail confronted Cavalier, later exposing him for “stolen valor” in an exclusive online article. Cavalier had made many claims to fellow occupiers and reporters that he was a United States Marine Corp. veteran. Those claims turned out to be a lie.
Ater being confronted by the Daily Mail. Cavalier left Oregon, traveling to Buckeye, Arizona, where on January 11, he was picked up on an outstanding warrant.
The New York Times published a blurb about Cavalier’s arrest noting the lack of details,
“A Buckeye police spokesman on Friday said Arizona law prevented disclosure of arrest warrant details.”
E & E Publishing reported that Cavalier was booked into and quickly released from the Maricopa County jail adding,
“Details on the warrant were not immediately available, but one source said it did not involve federal violations.”
This runs counter to claims by a confidential source from inside the occupation who said that Cavalier was armed at the time of his Arizona arrest. Cavalier was allegedly already banned from owning a firearm at that time.
A little more than a week later, Cavalier returned to Malheur. It is at that point, according to the source, that Cavalier began cooperating with authorities. Cavalier, who told reporters his name was “Fluffy Unicorn”, was the first of Bundy’s hierarchy to take a plea, including on a gun charge. However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel has said Cavalier did not have a firearm in Oregon at the time of his arrest, nor does the government have any evidence he possessed one during the takeover.
Why would Cavalier accept a firearm charge as part of his plea in Oregon if prosecutors themselves say he had no gun?
Was this possibly prenegotiated stemming from his earlier Arizona arrest?
Commenting on the light sentencing Cavalier is set to receive for his Oregon plea, Oregonian reporter Maxine Bernstein wrote,
“The negotiated sentence falls far below the maximum penalties for the two federal charges — six years in prison for the conspiracy offense and five years for possessing firearms in a federal facility.”
Cavalier was moved to another facility from his co-defendants weeks before his plea.
As the personal bodyguard for the Bundy family, Cavalier had open access to the leadership of the Malheur occupation, as well as at the 2014 Bunkerville, Nevada Bundy Ranch Standoff. In addition, Cavalier was often the middleman between A. Bundy and other occupiers, some who may have had plans of their own. He would have been privy to many details still to be revealed during trials and then, of course, there are some things we will just never know.
Cavalier had grown a close relationship with the Bundy family, working for them for the years between the two standoffs as a ranch hand in exchange for room and board.
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