Burns Chronicles No 51
William “Will” Kullman (Night Hawk)
Outpost of Freedom
December 28, 2016
Jon Ritzheimer had put out a call for more people to come to the Refuge, shortly after the occupation on January 2, 2016. Many people who supported the effort being made by Ammon Bundy and the others resent that message.
On January 3, Will Kullman contacted Maureen Peltier (SSG Moe). Peltier was one of those who had passed the message on. His first contact with Peltier shows that he was from Lake Stevens, Washington and that he was Founder of “Kullman Combat Organization”. Some of the text messages indicate his desire to help:
“I wanna come down to Oregon to help. What do I need to bring and when is the best time to come?”
Is there an armed militia that is doing security like we did at Sugar Pine and Bundy? Just wondering if I should bring a weapon.
He then stated that he “had a team ready to go…” And, then asked for a contact for when he got there. However, when he arrived in Burns, he was alone.
He knew that Ritzheimer was a Marine, so he sent the message:
“I will be there to help him. Tell him a fellow Marine is on his way to help him. Tell him I said “Semper Fi.”
On January 6, as he entered Harney County, he relayed messages through Peltier, announcing his approaching the Refuge. At 8:33 PM, he was driving in fog about 16 miles out from the Refuge. Then, at 10:56 pm, he reported to Peltier that he had arrived and that he “just met up with Ryan.” (Not sure if it was Payne or Bundy, as both were present at the time.)
“Semper fi”, short for “semper fidelis”, is the Marine Corps motto, Always faithful — that Marines will always be faithful to the Corps and other Marines. Both Ritzheimer and Kullman were Marines, though Kullman was more than willing to turn against his fellow Marine.
January 7, the day after Kullman arrived, he texted:
“You know there’s only maximum 40 of us here… Not as many as before. Get the word out. They are cutting power to the Refuge.”
Peltier questioned his going public with that sort of information and told Kullman that such information should only come out from the leadership. Peltier was beginning to have questions about Kullman’s assertiveness and assuming the authority to speak for the Refuge.
Then, on January 8, in an apparent effort to impress Peltier, he texts:
“Actually, I was just made the team leader of the militia with Jon, so trust my intel when I give it to you.”
Peltier, concerned about what role Kullman is playing, contacted Ritzheimer to explain what Kullman was doing. She indicates to Kullman that she has spoken with Ritzheimer and that he did not want any numbers to be given out. Kullman had been given a leadership position; he replaced Ryan Payne as head of one of the three militia units. The initial militia units were headed by Payne, Ritzheimer, and Varner, as explained in “Burns Chronicles No 40 – Allen Varner (Wolf)“.
The next day, January 9, Kullman is again trying to butter up Peltier, probably realizing that she has concerns about him, texts:
“At the point, with as much media that’s been here, everyone knows. You’re the only person that can get trusted and resourceful information out to the people. I’m sorry that I made you feel like a subordinate, but, the fact remains your ability to get the word out that we need help is impertinent (?) to the cause. I know we don’t know each other that well, but if Payne, Cooper, the Bundys and even Ritzheimer trust my judgment, maybe you could too, one day. Thanks for what you are doing. Out.”
You can see that he is trying to get closer to Peltier by his praise and his claim that “Payne, Cooper, the Bundys and even Ritzheimer trust” his judgment“. Kullman ended up leaving the Refuge on January 12 or 13.
Thus ended the communication between Kullman and Peltier, until January 26, after LaVoy Finicum was murdered, and all but two of the remaining members of the convoy had been arrested. There was confusion as to whether the Ryan that had been shot was Bundy or Payne. Until subsequent calls were made, and eventually it was established that it was Ryan Bundy, only Mark McConnell and Victoria Sharp knew for sure who it was. So, Kullman crowns his lies with a final effort to endear himself to Peltier, when he sends this message:
“Just got off the phone with a person who was with the people that were arrested, and he was released. Told me what happened to everyone including Payne and Lavoy.”
It was Ryan Bundy, and McConnell knew that. Payne was put with McConnell, Ammon, and Booda, where they sat in the cold until the events down the road, where Ryan Bundy received a wound and LaVoy was killed.
Peltier, however, had had enough of Kullman and refused to answer any texts after the 8th.
Now, let’s venture into Kullman’s role as an informant and what information he provided to the FBI. This information is from the FBI form 1023, “CHS Reporting Documents”. CHS is Confidential Human Source”, or informant, or perhaps, spy. This, “xxxx”, indicates redactions within the paragraph. Those marked “PTM” by me are probably “Private Text Messages”, since time-stamps appear on the reports.
January 7, 2016 – PTM
7: 27 AM: xxxx The whole refuge is under control. The federal worker cabins on sight are being used for shelter and housing for the militia. Hot water, electricity, and hot chow available. Numbers are minimal and most have received very little sleep. Weapons are not required for watch, but are not frowned upon either. They are trying not to make a scene by having them.
2:26 PM: There is a large supply of free food and a lot of donations. CHS is on the inside with JON RITZHEIMER and RYAN PAYNE. CHS has been asked to be a body guard for the BUNDY’s. Right now, there is zero organization and they are in a defensive posture. There are one or two guys on guard. There is a front guard and a back gate guard. The guys also have zero experience as far as training and weapons. There are about 30-40 people and maybe 75% are combatants. Weapons are staying in vehicles. Most everyone is just carrying a pistol on them. Mostly 5.56, hand guns, and some 7.62 Ak-style rifles. There are some higher calibers, like a couple of .308’s and apparently a .300 Win Mag. There is consistent talks of taking up arms if LEO/FEDS come onto the refuge and they all seem pretty serious about it. They are going through the property and using what they can use to aid their stay.
2:27 PM: Only a few folks have armor with no QRF, patrolling or legitimate security in place. There is a total complacency for security. These guys don’t have a clue what they are doing.
January 8, 2016– PTM
12:40 PM: There is an older guy, drives a 90’s model Suburban and dressed like a cowboy. He stated that he planned to go to where LEO were and give them a piece of his mind.
1:20 PM: More gun fighters showed up. 8 or 9 of them with AR-15’s, pistols, but no kits yet observed. They are an organized group from southeast Oregon.
2:35 PM: No eyes on, but confirmed through constituents that the Oregon III% and Idaho III% have deployed to the refuge. “Reinforcements” are inbound.
2:43 PM: There is a guy LEO should look into. He is talking about how the way we deal with the problem is to ambush officials and “blow their heads off with shotguns and solve the problem no evidence.” His name is ROBERT HART and he is in his mid-50’s. He’s a lunatic. CHS noted he/she would attempt to get license plate. He drives a green two-door Suburban. He is not associated with these guys and they have made numerous complaints about him already.
January 9, 2016 PTM
11:39 AM: About 20 vehicles with 50+ men from Idaho and Oregon III% and OATH KEEPERS just showed up. Add about another 100 firearms to my original count. ANDREW BERDOTHA is here now.
2:42 PM: BERDOTHA and that huge convoy of III% left. They are apparently staying in the area, but not at the refuge. BERDOTHA admitted they had been harassing LEO’s out in town. RYAN BUNDY and his bodyguard with a two man security detail are out in BURNS, OR heading to BLM office to screw a sign to the door that says “permanently closed.”
Now, Sheriff Ward, the FBI, Mainstream Media, and many others, claimed that those at the Refuge were harassing the LEOs in Burns. However, Kullman reports that it was Idaho III%, Oregon III%, and OathKeepers that were responsible for the harassing going on in Burns. No wonder the FBI wanted to hide Kullman and his testimony. Berdotha is an OathKeeper from Bend, Oregon.
3:41 PM: BERDOTHA talked about their group going to the airport to harass you guys (Agent note: “You guys” are meant to be FBI.)
10:08 PM The numbers for during the day and night as permanent personnel stay roughly the same. Maybe +/- 5 people stay out in town, but they are most out of town ranchers or civilians who are in a supportive role. The media never stay overnight. There are roughly 20 “Militia” or “security” combatants on site. However, there are about 50 people on site and all of them claim to be combatants. But actual personnel who are pulling security and have weapons is about 20. There are around 6 children ages 10 and younger with 2 infants to include AMMON BUNDY’s family who are staying on site. Key players, such as RITZ, PAYNE, the BUNDY’s and COOPER do not stay in town, they stay at the refuge every night.
11:04 PM: If you mess with the refuge (Agent note: referring to LEO), they will be right behind you to take you down.
January 10, 2016 – PTM
9:41 AM: AMMON BUNDY and a small personal security detail are heading south to Fields, OR in one vehicle. There are 5 total personnel and 6 total weapons. They are heading down on the 205 and not using any other routes.
9:48 AM: They are going to Fields, OR to attend a meeting where they will talk with the community about the refuge and what they’re doing. They are traveling in a white, four door, Ford pick-up.
Kullman has been providing tactical information, however, here, he is setting the stage, probably hoping that the FBI will set up a roadblock and take Ammon and the others down. It appears that he is traveling with them, and would probably play hero if there was a roadblock, and arrest Ammon while still in the “white, four door, Ford pick-up“, going south on 205.
11:25 AM: At Fields, OR school house. There are about 50-60 people in attendance including children.
2:22 PM: Group heading back to refuge from Fields, OR.
4:33 PM: Denotes picture of LEQUIEU. (Picture attached to 1A).
5:18 PM: Retired Army General NELSON has arrived and he presented AMMON BUNDY with his bronze star from Iraq. NELSON is here for moral support.
5:46 PM: PAYNE has been pretty stable, mainly dealing with operations politics with the ranchers. He is always with the BUNDY’s, PATRICK, and RITZ. He rarely leaves.
10:02 PM: PAYNE will be leaving soon. He isn’t staying much longer, but plans on returning. PAYNE and RITZ are going to be outside the wire tonight on patrol armed with AR 5.56 and .308 FAL with scope. Unsure of their exact location.
January 11, 2016 – PTM – [It appears that there was two-way texting going on during this session. Case agent is pasting CHS texting, but not his own.]
5:06 AM: CHS reported, ” I asked. He’s working on it.”
5:34 AM: There is no evidence or proof that government computers were used, but it appears that the computers on the refuge appear untouched. Only hard supplies, like paper, printers, and physical supplies were used. The only other computers here are personal ones. No one appears capable of being able to access the computers via hacking.
10:25 AM: PAYNE is in town on a mail run.
10:29 AM: PAYNE plans to leave for an extended period of time. xxxx
10:34 AM: LEQUIEU confirmed he was a felon today in a debate over gun rights with felons. As far as the other two, one does not have a weapon with him, or on him, and one has expressed he is not allowed to carry one. The other one is no longer on the refuge.
2:36 PM: Someone sent that to RITZ and PAYNE (referring to photo of sexual toy-picture attached.)
2:37 PM: Do you understand how hard it is to control my composure? I’m dying on the inside (referring to aforementioned photo).
5:53 PM: Agents and LEO followed RITZHEIMER? Because that’s what he said. If you did or have Agents hanging out near the refuge, or on any ridge, PAYNE and JASON PATRICK agreed to go full kit and weapon to approach the Agents and surround them to talk. (Agent note: On 01/19/2016, additional details were provided in a follow-up interview). RITZHEIMER believed he was followed while on his way into town on HWY 205. He was on his way to the VERIZON store when 3-4 all white law enforcement vehicles followed him.
What? No threat, simply talk? That’s not what we heard in the courtroom.
5:58 PM: No he was followed into town. Said it was federal VIC’s and LEO that followed him into town.
6:31 PM: You know they ripped down a fence the BLM put up right?
8:18 PM: Two more semi auto .308’s showed up today. An MIA Socom and FAL.
8:58 PM: Unsure of the timing, but the people here are trying to get a lot of money together to make a large purchase of tactical equipment. They want LBV’s, mag pouches, magazines, ammo, optics, holsters, and belts. They want to use the items to distribute to people who came with nothing. Some people are saying they are willing to contribute money to purchase weapons. It’s all talk right now. As far as acting on it, it is unclear when it will happen.
January 12, 2016 – PTM
8:59 AM: It is unclear when, but people at MWR are trying to get a lot of money together to make a large purchase of tactical equipment. They want to buy IBV’s, mag pouches, magazines, ammo, optics, holsters, and belts for people who show-up with nothing. Some people are saying they will contribute money to buy weapons, but it’s all talk right now. Unsure when they will act on it.
2:06 PM: For the past two nights, PAYNE and RITZHEIMER have been out around 11 PM -2 AM looking for federal and local law enforcement officers who may be in the area on the sides of the roads. They have been taking weapons with them and have been looking for about 2.5 hours to “show a force” to the Agents or LEO’s if they see them. They are usually in the area of 205 MSR.
2:23 PM: Located another shotgun and .300 WIN MAG.
Kullman then left the Refuge. However, he hadn’t ended his role. His Case Agent, shortly before the murder of Lavoy Finicum, who had some questions, contacted him.
January 22, 2016
CHS was asked to identify an individual in a photo. The individual in the attached photo is standing to the left with a black stocking cap on and a desert digital camouflage top. CHS identified the individual as Geoff Stanek who CHS believed was from northwest Oregon. CHS stated that Stanek could also be from southwest Washington. CHS stated that Stanek is a Army combat medic veteran.
CHS was also asked if any of the subjects at the MWR had fired a weapon while at the refuge. CHS stated that the subjects talked about making a rifle range on the property to shoot and practice, but was changed to building one off the refuge and shooting somewhere else. Payne was interested in finding out where the “Feds” had been posting up and set up a rifle range right next to them.
The FBI sought identification of individuals in a photograph, though no indication of the source of the photo. Then, they queried about gun firing on the Refuge, even though the Refuge allows hunting and has no restriction on firearms (See Burns Chronicles No 26 – Firearms Not Allowed). It was just a day later that “John Killman (See Burns Chronicles No 42 – Fabio Minoggio (John Killman)) began firearms training and led the occupiers in to a firing exercise, which the video of became a key piece of the prosecution’s evidence – until Killman testified.
January 25, 2016
CHS reported that Jon Ritzheimer left the Malheur Wildlife Refuge (MWR) last night and plans to be away for approximately a week or so. Payne is still at the MWR and CHS was not aware if Payne intended to ever leave on his own.
January 25, 21016, the day before LaVoy’s death, is the last report that is within the obtained documents.
Kullman demonstrates one of the characteristics of an informant. He tried to ride Peltier as an entrance to the Refuge, hoping that it would be “credentials”, though Peltier made clear that she did not know Kullman. Kullman then lied to Peltier about his role and authority at the Refuge, but he failed, in that effort, too.
When someone starts dropping names, contact those named to see if what is claimed is, in fact, true. Your diligence, in this regard, may save you some grief.
Kullman was an “inside” informant, identified as “CHS #14”.
Prior to publishing this article, I called Kullman. As I began to explain that I was writing an article about the role he played at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and see if he wanted to see the article and comment, he hung up the phone, in my midsentence.
NOTE (March 9, 2017): Though Will Kullman did not testify, he did appear as required. The decision to not have him testify was made by the Defense Counsel and defendants. The US Attorney did confirm, to the defense attorneys, that Will Kullman was an informant for the FBI, and was paid for his services. This was confirmed on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.