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|Thursday, 25 September, 2014|
Authorities gather outisde the Ray Broncho residence. Bannock County's BearCat is on the scene. ( Lori Edmo-Suppah photos)
By LORI EDMO-SUPPAH
FORT HALL — Ray Broncho of Fort Hall is in custody at Fort Hall Corrections after keeping law enforcement officers at bay for more than 18 hours September 20.
Broncho was barricaded in his home on Lodgepine Road in the old Fort Hall Housing and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) negotiators were brought in to assist. He surrendered to the Fort Hall Police with the assistance of FBI officers at 9:15 p.m. that night.
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes activated the Emergency Operations Center around 4 a.m. with evacuations of Housing residents, the Elderly Complex and families north of Agency Road and east of Eagle Road was conducted around 3:45 a.m. in the interest of public safety said Tribal Executive Director Angelo Gonzales. Approximately 100 to 105 homes were evacuated and the Tribes supplied 75 hotel rooms at the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel, along with the Ramada Inn in Pocatello.
Broncho had a weapon in his possession. Concerning allegations of alcohol or drugs, Gonzales said they’re awaiting results from blood tests.
Gonzales said it was a decision of the EOC to bring in the FBI who then asked for assistance from the Special Weapons and Tactics unit that includes surrounding law enforcement agencies. “It was an organizational decision based on manpower needs,” he said. “First and foremost the safety of our community members.”
Bannock County brought in the BearCat, an armored unit and Idaho Falls Police Bomb Squad Unit utilizing a robot to assist in negotiations. The Fort Hall Business Council had passed a resolution earlier this year banning the use of the BearCat on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation however because the FBI was in charge, the FBI requested the assistance, Gonzales said on Saturday.
Broncho was posting his thoughts on his Facebook page, along with a “selfie” that showed a gun in his possession.
Roadblocks were set up initially on Warbonnet and Eagle Roads, Mission and Agency Roads, Eagle and Agency Roads but were later expanded to include Ross Fork Road between Mission and Eagle Roads because of the number of onlookers parked using binoculars or other devices to observe the standoff. Putnam Road next to the Justice Center was also blocked until the standoff ended.
Fort Hall Police Captain Mark Massey said Broncho is facing several Tribal Law and Order Code violations and federal charges are also pending.
Massey said the FHPD Criminal Investigation division and the FBI continue to investigate.
In addition to the agencies listed, Fort Hall Corrections, Tribal Fish and Game, Transportation, Public Safety and Housing management assisted.