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F.B.I. Agent Charged After Oregon Refuge Shooting Goes on Trial

Published: July 24, 2018
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Source: Ny Times

File:LaVoyFinicum.jpg

After the Sept. 11 attacks, Joseph Astarita sought to follow in the footsteps of his father, an F.B.I. agent, joining the bureau and later earning a spot on the New York office SWAT team.

But he dreamed of joining the elite Hostage Rescue Team, and after a failed effort, he landed with the unit on his second try in April 2015.

Now Mr. Astarita faces prison, the ultimate disgrace for an agent sworn to uphold the law. He was indicted on charges of lying and obstruction of justice after a deadly clash with a well-known anti-government activist. His federal trial starts Tuesday in Portland, Ore., and is expected to last several weeks, putting a spotlight on the F.B.I.’s Hostage Rescue Team.

Prosecutors say Mr. Astarita, 41, tried to cover up the firing of two shots during the arrest of the activist, LaVoy Finicum, during the confrontation at a remote federal wildlife refuge in January 2016 in Oregon.

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