A federal grand jury in Sacramento has returned a three-count indictment against a Nevada County man accused of shooting a Bureau of Land Management ranger and a California Highway Patrol officer in June.
The indictment, returned Thursday, charges Brent Douglas Cole, 61, with assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon which inflicted bodily injury, assault on a person assisting a federal officer with a deadly weapon which inflicted bodily injury, and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, according to a U.S. attorney’s office news release.
According to court documents, a BLM ranger stopped Cole on June 14 after he observed Cole driving his truck on a closed dirt road on BLM land near the South Yuba River campground. The ranger warned Cole not to drive on the road again and allowed him to leave without issuing him a citation.
The ranger continued up the road and discovered a makeshift campsite with two motorcycles, one that had been reported stolen and one with expired registration tags. The ranger requested the CHP’s help to impound the motorcycles.
While the ranger and CHP officer were preparing to move the motorcycles, Cole arrived at the campsite armed, and an exchange of gunfire occurred, authorities said. The BLM ranger was wounded in the left shoulder and the CHP officer in the right lower leg. Authorities said Cole also was struck several times.
The ranger, CHP officer and Cole were treated for their wounds, and all survived.
Cole has been in custody since the shooting. Nevada County sheriff’s officials have said that Cole’s writings – filed in courthouses in Nevada County and Anchorage, Alaska, as well as on his social media sites and numerous other websites – indicate he is a part of a “sovereign citizens” movement whose members typically don’t recognize the authority of federal, state and some local government agencies.